Sebastian Lücker

Talk Title : Molecular identification and characterisation of novel nitrifying microorganisms

Date : 24th August 2021 – 15:00 (KL, GMT+8) / 17:00 (Sydney, GMT+10)

Sebastian Lücker is assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His research is focused on the diversity and metabolic versatility of novel nitrifying microorganisms. Since his PhD at the University of Vienna, Austria, he has been investigating these fastidious microorganisms with a suite of culture-dependent and independent tools, and had been at the forefront of forming our current understanding of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria all across the phylogenetic tree. Most recently, he had a leading role in the discovery of complete ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospira, the so-called comammox bacteria. Dr. Lücker was recognized with the ISME Tom Brock and the KNVM Van Leeuwenhoek awards and, in 2018, has received the prestigious NWO VIDI grant to investigate the role of comammox Nitrospira in engineered systems. Here, his research team develops new molecular tools for the in situ identification of ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms, which allow their functional and phylogenetic identification in complex environmental samples, and furthermore can be used for targeted metagenomics. This knowledge he combines with physiological data from lab-scale bioreactor cultivation and single cell sorting experiments to explore the potential of comammox Nitrospira and other novel nitrifiers, with the aim to facilitate the development of sustainable water treatment technologies.

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