Over the past eight years, my overarching research theme has been the physiology of electroactive microorganisms. I am primarily investigating microorganisms with impending potential for biotechnological applications. Some examples are microorganisms involved in interspecies interactions during anaerobic digestion, microorganisms influencing biodeterioration of materials, or with the ability to sustainably produce chemicals for various industries.
My group works at the interface between electrochemistry and applied microbiology. Electric properties of microorganisms are of interest to find solutions to a global fuel and chemical crisis, but also for prevention of costly processes like corrosion of metallic infrastructure. You can find more details about our research and group members at rotarulab.com.
Electrosynthesis; Microbial fuel cells; Biofuels; Bioplastics; Interspecies interactions; Evolution of interspecies associations; Microbe-mineral/electrode interactions;
Examples of previous bachelor and MSc projects (year):
• Green production of bioplastics (Polyhyrdoxybutyrate, PHB)/2017
Bachelor and MSc projects which are available:
• Interspecies interactions in Baltic Sea sediments. You will learn how to cultivate anaerobic organisms; and use electrochemistry and molecular microbiology tools to study the interspecies interaction mediated by conductive particles.
• Getting rid of fossil fuel based plastics: plastic electrofermentation and consecutive bioremediation. You will use electrochemistry and metabolite analyses (GCs, HPLCs, MS) to study the degradation of toxic plastic to chemicals of interest.
• Green synthesis: screening electroactive autotrophs to find a super-strain for a sustainable converting renewable electricity and biogas to chemicals of interest. You will learn to cultivate and use electrochemistry, metabolite analyses (GCs, HPLCs, MS), and molecular biology to identify novel electroautotrophs.