Studying Microbiology – Section of Microbiology - University of Copenhagen

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Microbiology > Studying Microbiology

Studying Microbiology

Microbes play vital roles including recycling of compounds in nature and in human and animal health. Despite the ability to live as single cells, bacteria and fungi have evolved over billions of years to engage in multicellular networks dominated by complex interactions. Nevertheless, most research, as well as approaches in bio-based production, has focused on single species of bacteria.

At the Section of Microbiology, we are working to understand and exploit the immense adaptive potential of natural microbial communities. Our research is based on a holistic perception of the microorganisms as integrated members of complex microbial communities shaped by their physico-chemical microenvironment, and by social community interactions.

Courses and projects

Courses available through the Section of Microbiology at B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. level.

Current Bachelor and Master Projects

Previous Ph.D. and Master Projects

The research on complex microbial communities is conducted within four main topics:

Soil biodiversity and function

Microbiology of thawing permafrost

Due to global warming permafrost is thawing. This increases microbial decomposition of the enormous stocks of organic material and increases emission of greenhouse gases. You may investigate how bacteria and fungi react to extremely low temperatures or to global change experiments in the field.

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Human microbiome

Microbiome in healthy and sick children
We investigate microbiome structure, diversity and activities of samples from healthy and sick children and animal model systems in order to identify the microbial factor in important illnesses such as asthma and diarrhea and others.

Techniques covered:
Classic culturing
Profiling of antibiotic resistance
PCR and qPCR analysis
Metagenomics sequencing
Bioinformatic analysis

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Multispecies biofilm

Bacteria normally live in so-called biofilms - dense multi-species communities of microorganisms embedded in a self made matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. In this research topic you will get the opportunity to study how and why different species of bacteria cooperate to form biofilms, if the presence of some species provides a protective effect on other species and hereby shield them from inactivating agents?

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Sociomicrobiology

Exploiting evolution: Designing microbial interactions for industrial scenarios.
This project will address the use of microbial communities to maintain increased food and energy production in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. We are planning to isolate and identify microbial communities (bacteria or fungi)  to construct synthetic microbial consortia to help in bio-industrial processes and support Europe’s developing bio-economy.

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