A new source of methane was recently discovered in a subsurface zone of the seabed, where the production and oxidation of methane occur concurrently. Preliminary work indicates that archaea and bacteria may here exchange electrons in the sediment through minerals that function as electrical conductors and capacitors. The working hypothesis is that the archaea are able to reverse the direction of their energy metabolism depending on whether they interact with electron accepting or electron donating bacteria. The specific objective is to unravel the processes using sensitive radiotracer experiments and to identify the microbial physiology of archaea involved in this cryptic methane cycling. The results will be of general importance for the understanding of methane biogeochemistry.
The project is a collaboration between the University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team covering molecular microbiology, electromicrobiology, microbial physiology and biogeochemistry. We seek a highly motivated candidate with an academic background and documented experience in aquatic microbiology and microbial process studies.
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Aarhus University, Denmark
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