Primordial Cooperative Biological Systems

   Department of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project is in our laboratory at the Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, led by Nick Green. In this program, you will have the opportunity to join a friendly team carrying out cutting-edge research in organic and biological chemistry, in a laboratory with state-of-the art equipment and renowned international collaborators.

Project Details: The transition from primordial soup to primitive organism is a process which may be understood by characterising the fundamental interactions of (bio)molecules likely present on the primordial earth. Interactions of increasing complexity – yet still based on readily rationalisable and ultimately predictable principles of structure and reactivity – must have eventually given rise to biochemistry. These interactions will be studied in this project. Synthesis of simple protobiological molecules followed by observations of the physical and chemical behaviours of these assemblies will improve our understanding of the role of such molecules in bringing about the cooperative behaviour necessary for life’s emergence, and our knowledge of structure, reactivity and mechanism in chemistry and biology.

Upon completion of the PhD the candidate will have a wide variety of skills in the chemical synthesis, purification and analysis (including NMR, LCMS, DLS, UV Spectroscopy, Microscopy) of biologically relevant organic molecules and their derivatives, as well the opportunity to collaborate within New Zealand and internationally.


Candidates must have a MSc or Hons degree in synthetic organic or biological chemistry, with a GPA of 8/10 or higher. and be eligible for doctoral studies at the University of Otago (more info).

Candidates can begin their studies any time. They are encouraged to informally with any questions or their CV, academic transcript and their interest in the field as soon as possible.

More information on the group is available at our website

Chemistry (6)

Funding Notes

32,544 NZD per annum + tuition fees

Register your interest for this project

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.