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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Energy recovery from industrial wastewaters via understanding and manipulating the microbial diversity

Research environment

The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences at Queen Mary is one of the UK’s elite research centres, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). We offer a multi-disciplinary research environment and have approximately 150 PhD students working on projects in the biological and psychological sciences.

Industrial wastewaters are considered as a source of resources to help us meet the sustainable development goals. Particularly, anaerobic wastewater treatment systems have a great potential to generate energy in the form of methane, which would allow us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Project details

The proposed project aims to enhance the methane generation as a sustainable energy source from industrial wastewaters by analysing active microbial populations and their metabolic pathways. This will allow us to use various bioaugmentation strategies to change microbial community structures in anaerobic wastewater treatment reactors towards enhanced methane generation. We will focus on a variety of food and dairy industry wastewaters to achieve this aim. We will run lab-scale wastewater treatment reactors and will use an approach combining stable-isotope probing, molecular techniques and bioinformatics to understand the diversity and metabolism of specific anaerobic microorganisms. We will then test different anaerobic cultures to bioaugment treatment reactors to manipulate the microbial communities to maximise the biomethane production.

Eligibility and applying

Applications are invited from candidates with a first or upper second-class degree in Environmental Engineering, Life Sciences or in a related area. Experience in using molecular techniques and analytical tools is highly desirable

Applicants from outside of the UK are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. Please see our English language requirements page for details:

Informal enquires about this position can be made to Dr Özge Eyice ( Formal applications must be submitted through our online form by the stated deadline including a CV, personal statement and qualifications.

The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences is committed to promoting diversity in science; we have been awarded an Athena Swan Silver Award. We positively welcome applications from underrepresented groups.


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