C3 Seminar: Professor Mike Manefield
Using bacteria in ecosystem engineering for contaminated groundwater remediation
Organohalides are a large group of chemicals with diverse applications and are produced on a massive scale globally. Toxic and carcinogenic chlorinated methanes such as chloroform and dichloromethane have been produced on an annual basis in the order of hundreds of thousands of tonnes resulting inevitably in release into the environment.
This presentation introduces two strictly anaerobic bacteria isolated from a Botany Sands Aquifer enrichment culture shown to completely degrade chloroform. The first uses chloroform as an electron acceptor to produce dichloromethane and the second uses dichloromethane as an electron donor to produce acetate.
Through genomics, proteomics, heterologous gene expression and biochemical assays we have been able to generate an intricate understanding of the inner workings of these fascinating bacteria and develop diagnostic tools for tracking their deployment in the environment for site remediation.
Light refreshments provided after talk - All are welcome!
Professor Mike Manefield
Professor Michael Manefield trained at UNSW in Environmental Science, majoring in microbiology. His PhD focussed on the inhibition of bacterial communication systems using marine algal metabolites. He held a postdoctoral research associate position in the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxford, UK developing stable isotope probing methods enabling identification of microbes consuming specific substrates in complex communities. He has held visiting fellow positions at Cambridge University, UK, Danish Technical University, Denmark, Marine Biotechnology Institute, Japan and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Health, Germany. He is a former ARC FT2 Future Fellow (UNSW) and August Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor (Technical University Munich). He has raised over $17 million in research funding as lead investigator, published over 120 peer reviewed journal articles and graduated over 10 PhD students and 20 full year research honours students.