Towards a better understanding of the environmentally important sphingomonad bacteria

PhD defence, Friday 16 June 2017. Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen

2017.06.16 | Anne Have Lietzen

Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen

Members of the sphingomonad group of bacteria are often described as highly efficient degraders of environmental pollutants such pesticides, pollution from burning of fossil fuels, and other contaminating organic compounds. Although having received much attention from the scientific community, many essential aspects of these bacteria remain unexplored. In his thesis, Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen studied some of the most central features of sphingomonads, in order to improve our understanding of these ecologically important bacteria. These topics include the ongoing evolution of their genomes, their natural enemies, and their “family-first” approach to increase the evolutionary fitness of their closest relatives. The scientific findings of this thesis provide new insight into how sphingomonads have evolved to become efficient and flexible degraders of pollution – a role that is exceedingly needed in the Anthropocene age (The Age of Humans).

The PhD degree was completed at the section for Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University.

This abstract was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 16 June 2017 at 14.00

Place: Room K1.36 (East), Department of Environmental Science, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde.

Title: Unraveling the Molecular Mysteries of Sphingomonads

Contact information: Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen, tkn@envs.au.dk, tel: +45 30234821

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Andreas Stolz, Department of Microbiology, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Senior researcher Martin Ian Bahl, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark

Professor Henrik Skov, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University (chair)

Main supervisor:

Professor Lars Hestbjerg Hansen, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 22.06.2017