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PhD Studentships

EASTBIO PhD Studentship at University of Edinburgh

Title: The Application of Advanced Analytical Techniques to Ensuring Flavour Sustainability and Optimisation in Scotch Whisky Distillery Fermentations

Supervisors: Prof Dušan Uhrín, Dr Nicholle Bell, Dr Ian Goodall

Start date: September 2022

Applications close: 16th December 2021

This project builds on techniques developed during two previous collaborative PhD studentships with the Edinburgh-based Scotch Whisky Research Institute (SWRI). SWRI are recognised experts in the analysis of Scotch Whisky and are funded by the distilling industry to carry out strategic research on all aspects of Scotch Whisky production. The cutting-edge analytical instrumentation (600-800 MHz liquid-state NMR, 12T Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass spectrometry and an ion mobility capable Q-ToF with nanoESI, ESI and LC interfaces), based in the School of Chemistry, was previously applied to study Scotch Whisky maturation and authentication. Both techniques also showed a much greater complexity to new make spirit than previously realised by low resolution studies. These techniques will now be used to explore the impact of distillery fermentation on distillate composition and flavour by controlling the fermentation conditions such as yeast type, bacterial composition, fermentation time, water utilisation, temperature control or wort cloudiness. 

The project will provide a high-quality training opportunity for a successful candidate at a world class University as well as offer excellent employment prospects. A six-month industrial placement at SWRI will provide experience in fermentation and flavour analysis using their dedicated facilities. To find out more about the project and how to apply, click here.

EASTBIO PhD Studentship at University of Edinburgh

Title: Understanding the peat microbiome and metabolome: From vegetation to organic matter molecules and microbes

Supervisors: Dr Nicholle Bell

Start date: September 2022

Applications close: 16th December 2021

The Bell group, in collaboration with researchers across UK, are examining changes to peatlands on the molecular-level, using the unique facilities offered by the School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh (which house a 800 MHz NMR spectrometer and a 12T FT-ICR mass spectrometer) and on the microbial-level using the world-class high-throughput sequencing facility, Edinburgh Genomics. The overall aim of Bell’s group research is to uncover causative relationships that govern peatland formation/degradation and to use this knowledge to monitor the effectiveness of restoration interventions. The project will involve peat/vegetation sampling followed by metagenomics and metabolomics using a variety of techniques and statistics. This exciting multidisciplinary project offers the possibility to uncover the true drivers of peatland health.

The project will provide a high-quality training opportunity for a successful candidate at a world class University as well as offer excellent employment prospects. To find out more about the project and how to apply, click here.