Life in Extreme Environments - the Biology and Physics of Life at the Limits

University of Edinburgh

PhD 3.5 years Edinburgh, UK

Uploaded 27 Feb 2019

Job Description

In this project, we will use both laboratory and theoretical approaches to investigate the limits of life at extremes and in particular to study the physiological and biochemical response of microbes to individual and combined multiple extremes such as pH, temperature, salts and others. We will investigate whether the lack of isolated organisms at certain combined stresses reflects a sampling bias or a fundamental physical or energetic barrier to adaptation to these extremes. Modelling will be focused on understanding how we can more accurately predict the interaction of different extremes in determining microbial survival and growth.

As well as informing a general understanding of how life adapts to extremes, this work has diverse implications, for example for understanding how microbial life adapts to combined extremes within the human body as pathogens and whether it could potentially evolve in the multiple extremes of extraterrestrial environments.

Supervisors: Professor Charles Cockell and Professor Rosalind Allen

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