Exploitation of polar algal strains for future biotechExternal

News Overview

Contact: Professor Melody Clark
E-mail: mscl [at] bas.ac.uk
website: Exploitation of polar algal strains for future biotech webpage
Deadline: June 18, 2017
Registration website: Exploitation of polar algal strains for future biotech registration

Description

Applications are invited for a PhD student position to study the metabolic profiling of polar algal strains. The post will involve studying marine algae, which are an extremely diverse group of organisms with the ability to evolve unique strategies to adapt the different environmental conditions. Polar algae has been poorly explored, so the university is seeking a student to explore the performance of chosen polar algal strains under different growth conditions.

Purpose

Applications are invited for a PhD student position to study the metabolic profiling of polar algal strains. Unicellular marine algae are an extremely diverse group of organisms, many of which have evolved unique strategies to adapt to different environmental conditions and this translates into a great richness in potentially novel and unexplored metabolic compounds. Polar algae are particularly poorly explored as a source of novel compounds, yet are a tractable renewable source of novel cold-adapted compounds.

The student will evaluate the performance of the chosen polar algal strains under different growth conditions at BAS, the Cambridge Algal Innovation Centre and Algaplex. Growing the algae outside of their optimum range to will be used to assess whether the production of novel compounds can be induced in a controlled and predictable system. These metabolites will be identified and characterised via metabolite GC-MS or HPLC-MS analyses and any novel compounds identified screened for potentially useful compounds via in vitro assays.

The position is available at the British Antarctic Survey located in Cambridge starting in September 2017 for a total duration of 3.5 years. The PhD student will be registered for a degree with the University of Cambridge (with Professor Alison Smith as the main University supervisor) and must therefore fulfil the University requirements. This is a CASE award with Algaplex, a4f, SAMS Ltd and Glycomar as industrial partners and the student will receive support and experience from all partners. There will be an industrial placement with Algaplex for 3-6 months.

Qualification

Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a First Class or Upper Second Class UK Honours Degree or equivalent.