Food microbiology: Investigation of beneficial, harmful and purposefully designed bacteria at Københavns Universitet

Microorganisms have the ability to occupy every niche on our earth from the human body to soil. In the field of food production, microorganisms play an important role as they are used in a positive way to produce and enhance food products as well as protection. They can also infer negative consequences like food spoilage and foodborne diseases with potentially lifethreatening consequences. This multidisciplinary field of food microbiology is of great interest due to the possibility of ensuring food safety via classic or innovative food preservation technologies and probiotics. Right now, there is an increased focus of changing food patterns and products as well as on the benefits offered by bacterial research essential improving global health and wellbeing.

Here we work with various aspects of bacterial interactions from the applied level to the basic research questions with a special focus on bacterial interactions and adaptation with implication for food safety, biotechnology, food preservation, fermentation and food pathogens.

Examples of a project topic could be:

  •          Bacteria can quickly adapt to new environments but how can we exploit bacterial evolution and design microbial interactions to improve industrial processes and food production.
  •          Most bacteria are found in multispecies communities that induce biofilm formation leading to emergent behaviors and increasing their resistance. Furthermore, multispecies biofilm can lead to the establishment of pathogens in the biofilm. Here we would address why biofilm is more difficult to eradicate helping us understand how we can create strategies to solve these problems.
  •          Develop synthetic, collaborating microbes that synergistically prevent pathogen establishment.

In general there is a lot of flexibility in how exactly projects will be organized which is also why they can provide a diverse set of skills used in many contexts for working with microbiology like genetic manipulations to generation and analysis of sequencing data. New projects are regularly started and if you have an interesting idea you are also welcome to get in touch to see if we can help support it.

Place: The project will take place at the Department for Food Science at the University of Copenhagen where you will be part of a diverse microbiology group providing dynamic discussions and obtain a broad perspective on the diversity of microbiology research.

Please contact us for more information and feel free to come by for a chat about the possibilities.

Contact: Supervisor, Tenure Track Assistant Professor Henriette Lyng Røder - h.lyng.roeder@food.ku.dk. Responses can be in either Danish or English.

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