Marc Strous, PhD FRSC

PhD from Delft University of Technology/The Netherlands, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Marc Strous

Areas of Research

Nitrogen Cycling in Canadian Soda Lakes
The Canadian Rockies feature a rich diversity of alkaline soda lakes. Some of these lakes contain prolific microbial mats mainly consisting of large, filamentous cyanobacteria. Previously, we enriched a community consisting of such a cyanobacterium and its associated heterotrophs. This cyanobacterium is the primary mat-former in one of these soda lakes. It was shown to be a major player in nitrogen cycling, both as a nitrogen fixer and a urea consumer. Using a combination of field work and lab experiments, this project addresses questions on soda lake nitrogen cycling. For example: (1) Who produces the urea? (2) What conditions are needed to support nitrogen fixation by this cyanobacterium? (3) How does this cyanobacterium respond to nutrient starvation? This project offers a combination of field work (at alkaline soda lakes in the Rocky Mountains), laboratory cultivation, metagenomics and proteomics.
Geo-pops (For growing Enigmatic Microbes from Groundwater)
Together with Alberta Environments and Parks, our group surveys groundwater samples for interesting microbes. Groundwater contains a large diversity of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes, that have never been grown in labs and that are evolutionary unrelated to anything we know. This project offers engineered surfaces, “geopops”, to groundwater microbes for growth, enabling new microbes to grow in new and original ways. Microbes can be primary colonizers of these surfaces. They can also be secondary colonizers, interacting with the primary colonizers as predators or symbionts. This project offers a combination of field work (sampling groundwater), laboratory cultivation, metagenomics and proteomics.

Supervising degrees

Geoscience - Doctoral: Accepting Inquiries
Geoscience - Masters: Accepting Inquiries

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