Prof. dr. Aleš Lapanje

Research programme: Cycling of substances in the environment, mass balances, modelling of environmental processes and risk assessment  
Training topic: Determining the Impact of Spatial Arrangement of Microbial Cells on the Degradation Process of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Although much is known today about the composition and functioning of microbial communities, very little is currently understood about how the spatial arrangement of microbial cells influences metabolic processes, community composition, interspecies interactions, etc. This is primarily due to the lack of appropriate techniques to synthetically assemble a microbial community in a way that position of microbes within a multicellular construct is determined and constructed. The research will focus on spatial division of labor among individual participants in the metabolic chain of degrading recalcitrant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as, for example, pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene.


Colloid biology methods, based on the physical modification of cell surfaces, will be employed for this purpose. Through physical interactions among modified cells, we will create 3D structures characterized using OMIC tools, as well as physical-chemical measurements in situ, along with the analysis of resulting metabolites. The outcome of this work will also have practical applications, as we will develop a spatial model for the distribution of microbes on a carrier, intended for use in remediation of PAH-contaminated soils and waters.


You can find more information about our approaches and achievements on the website:


Minimum requirements for application:

  • Master’s degree in biological sciences or life sciences
  • Grade point average of 8.0
  • Proficiency in English