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Thanos Rizoulis

The microbial ecology of arsenic-contaminated aquifer sediments

        My study is part of the ongoing research of the Geomicrobiology Group of the University of Manchester on the biogeochemistry of arsenic-contaminated aquifers (see also here and here), which has been supported by major NERC and EU grants.

The main aim of my study is to explore the phylogenetic and metabolic microbial diversity in arsenic-contaminated sediments from Cambodia, with special focus on arsenic respiring bacteria. Following a multidisciplinary approach, molecular microbiology techniques, including DNA-SIP (stable isotope probing), 16S rRNA gene and arsenate respiratory reductase (arrA) gene clone libraries, as well as a metagenomic data (454 pyrosequencing) are combined with geochemical data and arsenic speciation measurements of both the solid and the aqueous phases (using XAS and IC-ICP-MS respectively).

In addition, the role that natural occurring organic compounds may have on the control of microbial diversity and arsenic release has been investigated too.