Borkowska-Heurtaux, Sandra

Sandra Borkowska-Heurtaux

PhD Student
Project title: Surface chemistry and sorption properties of microbes from Three Domains of Life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes) vs their metabolic response: integrating approach using chemistry and microbiology methods.

The Ph.D. project under the supervision of Dr. Colin Hunter, Dr. Donald Hepburn and Dr. Alistair Sutherland focused on surface chemistry and sorption properties of microbes from the Three Domains of Life: Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes vs. their metabolic response. The selected organisms included Natrinema pallidum, Lactococcus lactis var. lactis, Cladophora glomerata and Hydrodictyon reticulatum. The project integrated microbiology, chemistry, geomicrobiology and mathematical modelling methods. The objectives of the study were to investigate sorption of Mn2+ and Zn2+ by viable and inactivated microbes as a function of the contact time, microbial density, metal loading and temperature. The metabolic response of viable cells to the same experimental conditions was also studied. The mechanism of sorption was revealed using SEM-EDX, spectroscopy and adsorption science experimental approaches.