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Gene mining useful biocatalysts from paleosols

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 16, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project details:

Paleosols are often sediments that are relatively unaffected by the Anthropocene. While there is much research on the microbial community structure found in urban and agricultural soils, these relatively undisturbed soils are very different in a geological and physical context. We would therefore expect to see this being reflected in the structure of microbial communities that are associated with such soils. We are especially interested in evaluating the genetic diversity of microbial functional genes in such sediments using metagenome analysis. We can then ask:

1. Do different paleosol horizons harbour different types or families of functional genes?
2. To what extent are such gene populations linked to the specific microenvironment?
3. Just how genetically diverse are such gene populations from such environments?
4. To what extent does gene mining of paleosols allow us to access unique or useful biocatalyst enzymes?

This project will be supervised by Professor Chris Allen and Dr Chris Law of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences.

All applications MUST be submitted through

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

An interest in developing bioinformatic skills and metagenome analysis skills. A background in molecular microbiology and/or biocatalysis and/or molecular enzymology. Applicants with a specialist background In bioinformatics are also encouraged to apply.

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you read the full information on eligibility criteria available from DfE: View Website.

Please note in particular that not all successful applicants may be eligible to receive a full studentship (i.e. fees and stipend) - please read in detail the Residency and Citizenship requirements in the document linked to above.


Related papers from the Allen group include:

Dandare et al. (2019) The distribution of novel bacterial laccases in alpine paleosols is directly related to soil stratigraphy. Science of the Total Environment. 671: 19-27
Young et al. (2019) Effect of soil horizon stratigraphy on the microbial ecology of alpine paleosols. Science of the Total Environment. 657: 1183-1193

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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