Throughout my university education I have maintained a particular interest in the practical application of molecular and microbiology to combat real-world problems.
I studied "Molecular Biology and Biochemistry" at Durham University followed by a Master's in "Post-Genomic Biology" at the University of York.
My Master's thesis (part of an industrial placement) was a successful proof of concept study investigating the suitability of a protein for development as a commercial biosensor scaffold.
Biofilters for mitigation of landfill methane emissions.
Methane generated by the anaerobic decomposition of landfill waste represents a non-trivial component of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is a climate active gas roughly 25 times as potent as CO₂.
A common management strategy is to convert methane to CO₂ through combustion with concomitant electricity generation. Unfortunately, this method becomes impractical at low methane concentrations. One potential solution is passive biofiltration using methane oxidising methanotrophs to remove methane from low content streams.
The aim of this PhD is to gain insight into the biology of the active methanotrophs present in a trial biofilter (operated by Norfolk County Council) in order to inform future biofilter design and operating parameters. To this end, the methanotroph community in the biofilter will be studied and the major contributors to methane oxidation identified, isolated and characterised. The behaviour of these key methanotrophs and alterations in the biofilter community as a whole will be observed under changing physico-chemical conditions. The results will assist further refinement and development of these landfill biofilters, helping to make methane removal as efficient and consistent as possible.
Research groups and Supervisory team
University of East Anglia, Environmental sciences
Prof J Colin Murrell - University of East Anglia
Charles Wright - Norfolk County Council (CASE Partner)
Dr Andrew Crombie - University of East Anglia