Environmental Microbiology Research Initiative launches with workshop and seminars

The new interdisciplinary Environmental Microbiology Research Initiative (EMRI) at the University of Melbourne has launched with an industry workshop and series of seminars.

The Environmental Microbiology Research Initiative (EMRI) is a research consortium that aims to explore how environmental microorganisms influence ecosystem and human health, change the chemistry of the planet, respond to the impacts of industrial contamination and climate change, and potentially yield new biotechnologies.

The interdisciplinary research initiative had its first workshop on 11 July, with a gathering of more than 30 researchers and industry representatives from companies including Bio-Rad, Illumina, Agilent and Golder Associates.

The workshop included discussions about interfacing EMRI with Melbourne Bioinformatics, supporting undergraduate curriculum development in environmental microbiology, and designing a unique EMRI PhD program. The workshop also covered the strategic direction for an ARC Centre of Excellence Proposal.

EMRI also hosted its first seminar last week with Professor Jill Banfield talking about the new diversity being discovered in the microbiome in the terrestrial subsurface, and next week the series continues with a triple bill research seminar.

EMRI is being led by the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne under interim Director, Dr John Moreau.


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Daryl Holland