Skip to content

Understanding the molecular mechanisms of microbial adaptation to growth on biorefinery feedstocks

Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr Kevin Dudley
Position
Research Officer (Genomics)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Mark Harrison
Position
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

Biorefineries are centralised industrial facilities that transform waste and by-products from the crop and animal production sectors into products such as food, energy, and materials. As such, they are central 'pillars' of the circular bioeconomy.

Some biorefinery feedstocks are challenging to transform using microorganisms because they contain 'unusual' carbohydrates or a complex mixture of inhibitory compounds.

Research activities

As part of the project you will:

  • identify a range of bacteria with potential to use biorefinery feedstocks to produce value-added products
  • compare the transcriptome of selected strains during adaptation to growth on biorefinery feedstocks
  • identify both common and species-specific adaptation mechanisms.

Outcomes

The aim of the project is to understand the metabolic changes that bacteria make to better use atypical fermentable carbon in their environment and/or overcome the effects of inhibitors.

Skills and experience

If you have experience in one or more of the following scientific fields and strong practical skills it will be well regarded:

  • industrial biotechnology
  • molecular microbiology
  • transcriptomics.

Scholarships

You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact Dr Mark Harrison for more information.