This event will see separate talks from The University of Manchester's Dr Neil Dixon and Dr Aled Roberts
14:00: Welcome and introduction with event chair (TBC)
14:05: Dr Aled Roberts, Research Fellow, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at The University of Manchester
Green space: How off-world construction technologies could promote sustainable development on Earth
14:30: Q&A with Dr Aled Roberts
14:40 Dr Neil Dixon, Reader, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at The University of Manchester
Microbial engineering for a healthy planet
15:05: Q&A with Dr Neil Dixon
15:15: Event Close
Dr Aled Roberts | Any long-term human habitat on the Lunar or Martian surfaces will require extreme resourcefulness, circularity and sustainability as a matter of survival. The drive to establish such off-world habitats will undoubtedly result in novel technologies which may promote sustainable development on Earth. Here, we will discuss how advanced construction technologies being developed for the Lunar and Martian surfaces could be applied on Earth, and could help improve the sustainability of the buildings and construction sector - which accounts for 39% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions by some estimates.
Dr Neil Dixon | Microbes are one of the dominant life forms on planet earth, comprising close to 90Gt of carbon, outweighing animals by a factor 30, second only plant biomass. As such microbes have hugely important roles in carbon recycling, nitrogen fixation, plant health, and agriculture, and thus are central to creating an environmentally sustainable future. Advanced methods to engineer microbes can provide tractable approaches to address sustainability challenges including i) non-fossil fuel-based production sources of energy, chemicals and materials, ii) solutions for carbon and nitrogen fixation, iii) bioremediation of contaminated environments. In this talk I will present some highlights of these approaches including activities from our research group. This will include the development of advanced biorefinery processes by co-production of high value chemicals directly from waste agro-industrial residues 1, microbial processes to degrade and assimilate waste plastic 2, and thirdly the development of underpinning genetic toolbox to control engineered microbes for sensing, regulation and production3.