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Estimating the evolutionary history of plasmids and viruses

In the case of cellular life - bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes - determining the 'tree of life' is a comparatively well-studied problem.This vertical evolutionary history can be estimated using concatenated gene phylogenies, where single copy marker genes are concatenated into a single multiple sequence alignment which is then used in a phylogenetic tree reconstruction algorithm.Viral genomes and plasmid sequences, meanwhile, are more challenging to fit into a phylogenetic framework.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

Identifying emergent ecosystem responses through genes-to-ecosystems integration at Stordalen Mire

Permafrost thaw induced by climate change is predicted to make up to 174 Pg of near-surface carbon (less than 3m below the surface) available for microbial degradation by 2100. Despite having major implications for human health, prediction of the magnitude of carbon loss as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) is hampered by our limited knowledge of microbial metabolism of organic matter in these environments.Genome-centric meta-omic analysis of microbial communities provides the necessary information to examine how specific lineages transform …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

Giant viruses in the human gut microbiome

The human body is home to a vast ecosystem of microorganisms including bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses, and bacteriophages that make up the human microbiota. These microbes and their collective genetic material, known as the microbiome, influence a wide range of physiological functions including nutrient production and absorption, the development and regulation of our immune system, protection against potential pathogens, and even our mood and mental health. While distinct microbial communities exist throughout the body, the gut microbiome has gained particular …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

The evolution of dust obscuration in galaxies

Dust in galaxies is ubiquitous. It arises from the end stages of stellar evolution, with heavy elements formed over a star's lifetime being distributed throughout a parent galaxy as the star goes supernova.There are numerous approaches to measuring dust obscuration in galaxies. These approaches show a broad trend toward heavier obscuration in galaxies that support higher levels of star formation. However, there is relatively little understanding for why this relationship exists.By analysing the properties of galaxies in the Galaxy And …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics

Adaptive evolution of anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea mediating methane oxidation in freshwater environments (PhD)

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 aim of this PhD project will be to uncover the metabolic diversity of the Methanoperedenaceae and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for these adaptations.Methods and ResourcesThe project will …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

The cosmic star formation history measured from Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) data

The cosmic star formation history (SFH) describes how the rate of star formation in the universe has evolved. This has been measured with increasing precision in recent decades. Using highly sensitive radio detections, this cosmic star formation history can be determined to the highest level of precision yet.The Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) radio survey will measure up to 30 million radio sources in the coming few years. We estimate half of these will arise from star formations.Using the …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics

Finding high level resolution images

Historically, satellites have used rather large resolutions (30mx30m). However, we are now seeing much better resolution (3mx3m). We would like to apply new techniques to these satellites.

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Computer Science

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