We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD student to undertake a fully-funded research project investigating the cryopreservation and genetics of the nationally significant Cawthron Institute Culture Collection of Microalgae. The project will involve working with a multi-disciplinary team of environmental, molecular and chemistry researchers at the largest independent research institute in New Zealand, the Cawthron Institute, based in Nelson.
The microalgae collection is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and includes hundreds of microalgae species from marine and freshwater environments in New Zealand, the South Pacific and Antarctica. The research project involves microalgal culture, cryopreservation and molecular techniques. The student will play a key role in the project coordinating the various aspects of the research and addressing potential key research questions include: 1. Are cyst forms of marine microalgae more resilient to cryopreservation? 2. What new technology is available that could enhance cryopreservation success of microalgae? We anticipate that this part of the PhD will be undertaken jointly with collaborators in Europe. 3. Do the transcripts of key genes (i.e., those involved in toxin or high value compound production) and chemical profiles change after cryo-preservation? This section will involve working closely with Cawthron chemistry and biochemistry team. 4. Does the environmental source (i.e., tropical vs temperate vs. cold) or habitat (benthic vs planktonic) effect cryopreservation success? 5. Are there any key attributes (genetic or structural) that make some microalgae more amendable to cryopreservation? For more information contact Professor Andrew Jeffs a.je...@auckland.ac.nz