Industrial mining activities and the natural exposure of metal sulfide-ores to water and oxygen produce sulfate-rich waters, termed acid mine/rock drainage (AMD/ARD). Characterized by their high acidity and high heavy metal concentrations these water streams have a detrimental environmental and economic impact. This research will investigate a promising acidophilic sulfate reducing bacterium that is capable of detoxifying AMD/ARD. Gaining insight in its ecophysiology and (novel) coping mechanisms for this extreme environment would foster the understanding of microbial physiology and AMD/ARD environments. Knowledge gained can be used for the optimization of bioremediation techniques and development of novel biotechnological applications.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.