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Ramona Kuhn

German - 26 years

Master in Environmental Engineering

Process optimisation and biomass charactersation (MBR-13)

October 2006 - September 2009



What my project is about

Membrane bioreactors (MBR) still tend to fouling and there still is a lack of sufficient knowledge about microbial dynamics and enzymatic activity in the biomass. Both aspects seem to be related to the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and soluble microbial products (SMP), possibly a main cause of fouling.

Previous biological approaches were mainly oriented towards taxonomic investigations. My work focuses on a new approach called “(meta)proteomics” for functional biomass characterization. The approach allows to identify micro-organisms and the proteins they produce. In this way also their reaction on or adaptation to changes in their environmental system can be detected.

Where I work and live

One of three National Water Research Institutes (IRSA CNR) in Italy is located in Bari. IRSA exists since the year 1967 and concentrates its research activities on wastewater treatment technologies and water management. Beside science and a large university Bari is also well known for its port facing the Adriatic Sea, on the edges of the plateau of the Terra di Bari and of course as city of Saint Nicolas, the original of Santa Claus. The city is the capital of the region Apulia (or Puglia) and is the second largest economic centre of southern Italy.


Since the middle of my study I have been considering to pursue a PhD afterwards - preferably abroad. When I found the advertisement for MBR-Train on the web I knew immediately this would be the chance of my life to let all my expectations just come true. To me being abroad does not only mean to learn a new language and about culture, but also to learn more about myself. Perhaps that is the greatest challenge of all. I believe, joining MBR-Train provides me a respectable basis to continue my scientific carreer.

More about my project !