Study level

  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Simon McIlroy
ARC Future Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Professor Gene Tyson
Professor of Microbial Genomics
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


The as-yet-uncultured archaeal lineage Methanoperedenaceae are anaerobic methanotrophs with a key role in mitigating the atmospheric release of methane in freshwater environments. The metabolic diversity of these microorganisms directly links methane with several key biochemical cycles and suggests a remarkable ability of these microorganisms to adapt to diverse environmental conditions.

The overall aims for a potential Honours/MSc project will be to uncover the metabolic diversity of the Methanoperedenaceae and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for these adaptations.

Research activities

The project will utilise cutting-edge methods to study complex microbial communities including:

  • metagenomics
  • metatranscriptomics
  • metaproteomics
  • metabolomics
  • fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).


The key outcomes of the project will be to:

  1. Increase the genomic representation of the archaeal family Methanoperedenaceae.
  2. Identify the metabolic diversity of the family, including syntrophic relationships with other microorganisms.
  3. Gain insight into the evolutionary processes shaping the metabolic capabilities of the family.
  4. Elucidate the importance of these microorganisms to global biogeochemical cycles and the Earth’s climate.



Contact the supervisor for more information.