Dr. Achim Schmalenberger, Lecturer in Microbiology at UL was recently awarded the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant worth €75,000 by the European Commission. The Marie Curie Fellowship is a start-up research grant for researchers who are beginning their first full-time research position at a university. It is funded through the EU’s Marie Curie programme to attract top junior science researchers to European universities, companies and other institutions.
Dr. Schmalenberger joined the Department of Life Sciences in UL as Lecturer in Microbiology in October 2010 from his position as Postdoctoral Research Officer at the University of Sheffield. His current research interests lie in soil microbiology, plant growth promotion, plant-microbe-microbe interaction, microbial soil sulphur cycling and microbial weathering. Speaking about the opportunities arising from the fellowship Dr. Schmalenberger said; “This fellowship is a brilliant opportunity for me to kick-start my research here in Limerick. My aim is to investigate the mobilization of the dominating sulphur source in soils. About 95% of the soil sulphur is not directly plant available. However, certain bacteria and fungi are capable to mobilize this sulphur sources and may therefore play an important role in plant growth. My lab will be using microcosms to study the transfer of sulphur from soil to plant via soil microbes and will use molecular tools to identify key organisms and study their metabolisms. I have two postgraduate students in my lab and am very excited that I can now boost these projects with the necessary support in consumables and additional instrumentation. I am looking forward to the next three years of research in environmental microbiology supported by Marie Curie”
Professor Sean Arkins, Head of the Department of Life Sciences at UL, commended Dr. Schmalenberger’s work, saying; “ We are delighted with Achim’s success in this very competitive area. Achim’s research is novel and cutting edge and brings great synergy to our existing strengths in environmental biology”.
For further information about the Environmental Microbiology Research Group, Department of Life Sciences, UL go to: https://sites.google.com/site/environmicro/
University of Limerick
The University of Limerick is an independent, internationally focussed University with over 11,600 students and 1,300 faculty and staff. It is a young, energetic and enterprising University with a proud record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship. UL’s mission is to promote and advance learning and knowledge through teaching, research and scholarship in an environment, which encourages innovation and upholds the principles of free enquiry and expression. Particular attention is paid to the generation of knowledge, which is relevant to the needs of Ireland’s continuing socio-economic development.
A survey of Irish students recently voted UL Ireland’s most popular university with a satisfaction rating of 85%.
QS Stars™- 5 Star Rating for Engagement
The University of Limerick was recently awarded a 5-star rating for Engagement by independent evaluation agency, QS Stars™.
The QS report awarded UL full marks across a range of key criteria including; community investment and development, scholarships and bursaries.
The report awarded UL 5-star ratings across the areas of graduate employability, innovation, teaching, engagement, infrastructure and internationalisation