BioE COLLOQUIA SERIES: "Microbial Methylation and Volatilization of Arsenic in Soil"


Event details

Date and time 02.03.2020 12:15  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Rizlan Bernier-Latmani, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)
Category Conferences - Seminars
(sandwiches served)

Arsenic (As) is a highly toxic metalloid that is commonly and naturally found in soils and sediments. Microorganisms are able to catalyze many arsenic transformations, including methylation, which results in the formation of volatile arsenic compounds. The goal of this work is to engineer microbial As methylation in order to remove As from soil. To that end, we use metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic tools to identify the microorganisms responsible for methylation in soil and to deconvolute the in situ controls on methylation.

Rizlan Bernier-Latmani is an Associate Professor of Environmental Microbiology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL). She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and was a post-doctoral researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA. She has published > 50 peer-reviewed papers (h index = 20). Her research interests include geomicrobiology, particularly the metabolic activity of microorganisms and their impact on biogeochemical cycling of trace elements. She has used a combination of tools, ranging from metagenomic and metaproteomic analysis to x-ray absorption spectroscopy and electron microscopy to unravel specific metal transformation processes in natural and laboratory settings. She has extensive experience with field-work. Her past work has focused on uranium biogeochemistry as a tool for bioremediation of contaminated sites, but also, deep subsurface microbiology, to help constrain modeling for microbial processes in geological nuclear waste disposal.

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