About My Research
Department: Biological Sciences
Supervisor: Professor Colin Murrell
Molecular Ecology of methanotrophs in landfill cover soils
Landfills are an important anthropogenic source of methane and globally account for 13% of total CH4 emissions. Landfill biocover soils are a rich environment sustaining active methanotroph populations above landfills that could potentially oxidize up to 100% of the methane produced in the landfill. This research project investigates the hypothesis that the addition of earthworms to landfill cover soil stimulates indigenous methane oxidizing microbial communities and results in enhanced methane oxidation. The project aims to understand the trophic interactions between earthworms and methanotrophs and characterise the effects of earthworms on methane and ammonia oxidiser communities in biocover soils. This study uses recent developments in Stable Isotope Probing (SIP), combined DNA and RNA SIP, which will allow us to carry out culture independent phylogenetic (16S rRNA) and functional (pmoA, mmoX and mxaF) genes analyses to determine methanotroph diversity. The diversity of methanotrophs will be assessed by DGGE, clone library analysis and microarray (pmoA and mRNA) analysis.
Moreover the effect of microbial (MOB) diversity on methane oxidation in landfill cover soils and the functional stability of these microorganisms over spatial and temporal changes in biodiversity and environmental perturbations are also been studied as part of the METHECO project. By obtaining datasets, using standardised methodology and interpretation over different ecosystems, it would allow us to use it as a model for other environmental microbial ecology studies.
Year Started: 2005
Professor Lena Ma's laboratory at University of Florida, 2001-02. Research on Phytoremediation of arsenic as part of my Master's dissertation.
BSc (Hons) Horticulture - Tamilnadu Agricultural University, India
Msc Environmental Science - The University of Strathclyde, UK
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Tel: 02476 22557