I am a research technician working for both the school of biological sciences and The Murrell lab. I work closely with Dr Jenny Pratscher’s blooming algae project, where I assist with the water sampling and the extraction of DNA from the samples. I then carry out a quantitative PCR as a means of measuring levels of the harmful Prymnesium parvum alga, the abundance of which we have been measuring over the course of the past year.
I also work on a project involving a former land fill site which has been closed. Landfills, both open and closed, account for about 1/6 of all anthropogenic methane emissions globally, contributing significantly to global warming. As such, various strategies are being employed by different former landfill sites to try and minimise the release of the methane rich landfill gas. One such technique used at a former landfill in Strumpshaw, Norfolk (about 10 miles from UEA) is the use of a biofilter. This involves the capture and release of landfill gas at the bottom of a 1.6m deep trench which has been filled with a growth ‘matrix’ containing an ideal environment for the growth of methanotrophs. These bacteria then oxidise the methane within the landfill gas, ultimately reducing the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. My project is concerned with the isolation and characterisation of methanotrophs within this biofilter, using both cultivation dependent and independent techniques on a topsoil sample taken from the biofilter. This is in order to generate baseline data for a future PhD studentship funded by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership.
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK