The proposed fellowship will study the roles of anaerobic and aerobic microbial processes on nitrogen loss in estuarine and intertidal sediments. The applicant has 5 years experience in anaerobic microbiology, microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology. He has developed a strong profile, with 19 peer-reviewed papers and over 35 conference proceedings. In order for the applicant to reach his career goals, it is essential that he build on his experience by being trained at a world-leading institute in biogeochemistry.
The overall objectives for the applicant are to:
(1) gain complementary scientific experience in micro-sensor development, in situ physiological measurement and mathematical modelling;
(2) advance his understanding of biogeochemistry and
(3) reinforce his position of professional maturity and establish an independent career.
The science underpinning the proposal is of international importance; the fact that the anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) process might be important in the oceanic nitrogen cycle has implications for our understanding of global biogeochemical tranformations. Little is known about the factors underpinning this process in sediments and the proposed use of frontline methodologies, including micro-sensor applications and in situ rate measurements using stable isotopes, and excellent host collaborators will put the applicant in a position to make significant scientific and professional advances in this area.
Furthermore, since anammox has been demonstrated to be valuable for exploitation in environmental biotechnologies, such as anaerobic waste treatment, the collation and scale-up of more comprehensive and sophisticated datasets on environmental anammox phenomena will assist in the optimisation and further widespread application of these sustainable technologies.
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