31 août 2017

Microbiology as a foundation for ecosystem engineering - Salle de conférence Léon Hirth à 14h30

Prof. Mike MANEFIELD, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australie, invité par S. Vuillemier, GMGM

 

Prof. Mike Manefield, University of New South Wales (Australia)

Microbiology as a foundation for ecosystem engineering

Abstract

 Microorganisms are the original and to this day most abundant organisms on Earth. They are our ancient ancestors and are foundational for our ecosystem services (biogeochemical cycles) and essential biotechnologies (wastewater treatment, agriculture, food production). They are also self-replicating catalysts. This seminar presents an introduction to research ongoing in my research team on bioremediation, biogas production and wastewater treatment. Our bioremediation research focusses on the biological degradation of organohalides and hydrocarbons predominantly in subsurface environments (groundwater). Our biogas research focusses on stimulation of microbial activity in coal seams and anaerobic digesters. Our wastewater treatment research focusses on activated sludge flocculate formation. Beyond energy, water and site clean-up, these microbial technologies represent a low energy, low cost toolbox for a new engineering discipline, namely ecosystem engineering, with applications in mineral resources (biomining), rehabilitation of degraded environments, terraforming of uninhabitable environments (deserts and extra-terrestrial), agriculture, food production and food security.

 

Biography

 Michael Manefield trained at UNSW in Environmental Science, majoring in microbiology. His PhD focussed on the inhibition of bacterial communication systems using marine algal metabolites. He held a postdoctoral research associate position in the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxford, UK developing stable isotope probing methods enabling identification of microbes consuming specific substrates in complex communities. He has held visiting fellow positions at Cambridge University, UK, Danish Technical University, Denmark, Marine Biotechnology Institute, Japan and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Health, Germany. He is a former ARC FT2 Future Fellow (UNSW) and August Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor (Technical University Munich). He has been awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Leadership in Environmental Science and a UNSW Innovator of the Year Prize. He has raised over $10 million in research funding as lead investigator, published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles and graduated over 10 PhD students and 20 full year research honours students.

 

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