Field: Biotechnology, Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology
Duration: 6 to 9 months, preferably 9 months
Starting Date: July 2020 with flexibility
Location: Wetsus, European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
Allowance: 175 €/month
1. Project description
Aerobic biological processes are widely applied for wastewater treatment. During the process, while improving the water quality, a (waste) surplus activated sludge is produced. It has been demonstrated in the pilot-scale that surplus activated sludge could accumulate carbon storage elements Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) up to 40%/ VSS. Surplus activated sludge is a complex mixed culture biomass. In surplus activated sludge, only limited information about the PHA accumulation microorganisms is known. The objective of this project is to gain a deepened insight into the identification of the PHA accumulators and understand the distribution of intracellular PHA granular among different microorganisms. The techniques such as Next Generation Sequencing, Fluorescence In-situ Hybridization, and PHA granular staining would be investigated and applied. This project is embedded in the theme ‘Biopolymers from water’ (https://www.wetsus.nl/biopolymers-from-water ) in collaboration with Delft University and industrial partners.
2. What you can learn
• DNA extraction, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), basic bioinformatics and statistic;
• Perform Fluorescence In-situ Hybridization (FISH) and design FISH probes;
• Visualization of the intracellular PHA granular;
• Interaction and collaboration within a dynamic multidisciplinary and multinational research team.
3. Your profile
• Specializing in biotechnology, microbiology, molecular microbiology or related fields
• Preferably an EU citizen or an international MSc student actively enrolled in a Dutch university
• An aptitude and interest for practical laboratory experience and analytical work
• Fluent in English language (spoken, written and communication skills)
• Highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent thinker and doer who also like to work in a team
4. How to apply
Interested students are invited to send a motivation letter (max. 1 page) and a CV (max. 2 pages) to Ruizhe Pei ([email protected]).