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Joseph Donald Martin

PhD Student

Joseph Donald Martin

PhD Project: Microbiomes for biodegradation of environmental micropollutants

Project term: 01.06.18-31.05.21

Master’s degree: MSc in Applied and Environmental Geoscience (concentration geomicrobiology), University of Tübingen, Germany.

The aim of my project is to isolate strains or consortia of microorganisms with the capacity to degrade organic micropollutants. Micropollutants, now coined as emerging water resource contaminants, originate from a multitude of both anthropogenic and natural sources. They include pesticides, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, steroid hormones, and many other compounds that are typically found in the pg/l to µg/l range. The micropollutants that I will be focusing on will be pesticides and their metabolites, specifically Chloridazon and Tebuconazole. Their respective metabolites, Desphenyl Chloridazon and 1,2,4-triazole, are  known to be present in groundwater systems across Denmark. Current wastewater treatment facilities are not properly outfitted to manage, treat, or eliminate pollutants in such low concentrations, which is why other avenues for remediation are being researched.

A variety of contaminated and pristine environments will be sampled in attempt to isolate microorganisms capable of degrading micropollutants. Once successfully isolated, the microorganisms will be further analyzed using a variety of bioinformatics approaches (i.e.: genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) in order to identify the microorganisms, novel genes involved in the degradation processes, and elucidate their corresponding degradation pathways.

Supervisors: Carsten Suhr Jacobsen, Lea Ellegaard-Jensen, Martin Hansen, Lars Hestebjerg Hansen

ID: 125413118