PhD Researcher - Biotechnology/Microbiology/Engineering: Portugal

The Rector of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Prof. Isabel Capeloa Gil deliberated the opening of an international selection tender for vacancy of PhD Researcher to perform, in an exclusive dedication, the exercise of scientific research activities, in the scientific area of Environment and Resources to be developed in the CBQF – Centre of Biotechnology and  Fine Chemistry located at the Faculty of Biotechnology of the Catholic University of Portugal (ESB), at Porto. In the scope of the project “AGeNT – Tecnologia de grânulos aeróbios combinada com agentes microbianos selecionados para a degradação de poluentes tóxicos de águas residuais” it is financed by Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization, in its FEDER component, and the Foundation for Science and Technology, in its State Budget component (OE).

This project will run until June 31, 2021, has as its main objective development of a novel process which combines the Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) technology with bioaugmentation of specific bacteria to degrade toxic compounds. Bioaugmentation makes use of the natural immobilization polymer from the granular sludge. After extraction of this extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), specific bacteria will be embedded in it and new granules are formed and further used to augment the AGS reactor. This approach can improve significantly the removal of toxic compounds from wastewater. Many compounds (including pharmaceuticals) have a low biodegradation potential in conventional wastewater treatment plants resulting in emissions to the aquatic environment. This novel technology will reduce the amount of pollutants discharged in the natural environment. One other aspect that will deserve exploitation in AGS systems is whether horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is promoted within the systems enhancing biodegradation potential.

Applicants may be national, foreigners and stateless candidates who hold a PhD in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Engineering and Technology Sciences or related scientific areas.

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