Fully-funded Internationalphd Scholarship

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD position in life sciences in Australia. Applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis.

A three year fully funded PhD scholarship is available for an outstanding candidate to conduct research at the interface of Water Chemistry and Microbiology in the School of Molecular and Life Sciences. The aim of this project is to generate an in-depth understanding about the survival mechanisms of microorganisms in chloraminated distribution systems as well as the chemical mechanisms involved in the interaction between bacteria and their metabolites with monochloramine. Chloramination is used as an alternative to chlorine for residual disinfection in water distribution pipelines. The decomposition of monochloramine releases free ammonia which promotes bacterial growth, and leads to unexpected high consumption of oxidants. This exposes the pipeline to the potential growth of Naeglaria fowleri a highly pathogenic organism, previously responsible for multiple deaths of young children. The PhD candidate will develop bioreactors that allow for simulation of a drinking water system mimicking Western Australian conditions. The aim of these experiments is to understand if the biomass is producing different organic material under different conditions relevant to extreme scenarios in a distribution system. This will give us some insight to how the biomass impacts on monochloramine stability.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by experts in Water Chemistry and Treatment, and Microbiology. The water chemistry part will be led by Dr Sebastien Allard, Pr Cynthia Joll and Adjunct Professor Keith Cadee (Former General Manager Water Corporation) and the microbiology (fully funded microbiology scholarships) part by Emeritus Pr Jean-Claude Block (university of Lorraine, France) and Pr Elizabeth Watkin. The PhD candidate will also work closely with our industrial partners (Water Corporation Western Australia).

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