PhD Studentship - Identifying the Missing Enzyme(s) in the Global Nitrogen Cycle (LEHTOVIRTA-MORLEYL_U18RS)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Start Date: October 2018

No. of positions available: 1


Primary supervisor Dr. Laura Lehtovirta-Morley
Secondary supervisor Prof. Colin Murrell

Project description:

Archaea play vital roles in biogeochemical cycles and many other aspects of life on earth and yet they remain relatively uncharacterised. The subject of this PhD studentship are the ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA) which are among the most numerous living organisms on the Earth. They are key players in the global nitrogen cycle and balancing this cycle is vital for agriculture, food security and controlling climate change. The successful candidate will investigate the novel enzymes that catalyse ammonia oxidation in archaea. This step is responsible for enormous loss of nitrogen fertiliser, leading to environmental pollution and climate change. Understanding this novel biochemical step in AOA is an essential first step in reducing these processes which are detrimental to life on earth.

The PhD student will receive training in a wide range of cutting edge molecular, microbiological and biochemical techniques. The project includes working with pure cultures of AOA, isotopic labelling, cloning, heterologous expression and protein characterisation.

Applicants must have a 2:1 BSc or a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Biological Sciences and a strong background in either biochemistry or molecular microbiology.

For informal inquiries and further information, email Laura Lehtovirta-Morley at

Person specification:

Acceptable first degree: Biological Sciences related disciplines, including Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1

Funding notes:

This 4 year PhD studentship is funded by the Royal Society ( Funding is available to UK/EU applicants only and includes an annual stipend of £14,553.

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



South East England