PhD Studentship in Lipidomic and Antibiotic Resistance Characterisation of Activated Sludge Wastewater Reactors

Vacancy Reference Number
Sheffield Hallam University
Closing Date
31 Oct 2021
£15,609 + full Home tuition
Sheffield Hallam University Biomolecular Sciences Research Center Howard Street
3.5 years

Microorganisms play a key role in degrading environmentally hazardous industrial and municipal wastewater, preventing damage to ecosystems. Escalating population growth and rigidified environmental regulations place increasing demands on the wastewater industry. This project focuses on characterising the system disturbances caused by foaming events in wastewater reactors, which decrease the efficiency of wastewater degradation. This information will allow plant operators to better understand the causes of foaming events, the associated risks, and to develop predictive tools. In addition to playing a role in initiation of foaming events, shifts in wastewater microbial community composition have also been linked to the selection and enrichment of antibiotic resistant bacterial populations, including many human pathogens.

This doctoral program aims to characterise the emergence of antibiotic resistance in both in situ and replica in vitro wastewater systems in response to foaming, and to correlate these to lipidomic changes. The successful applicant will gain a range of interdisciplinary skills, including state-of-the-art analytical techniques such as ultraperformance liquid chromatograph-high resolution mass spectrometry, target analysis and big data processing of lipidomic data, bioinformatics molecular microbiology and biofilm-modelling.

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