Flag icon Flag icon
Doctoral Research Fellow

Mikkel Christensen

Doctoral Research Fellow
Department of Chemistry

Job description:

We investigate bacteria isolated from the arctic marine environment that produce Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) as intracellular storage polymers. PHA is extracted from bacteria and used as a bioplastic due to attractive material properties including degradation in marine environments. It is currently produced at industrial scale although at very low quantities compared to recalcitrant oil-plastics that we all use in our everyday life. Discovery and optimization of PHA producing bacteria will hopefully lead to a future of sustainable bioplastic production.

Our work consist of a combination of

Microbiology (Fluorescence microscopy, 16s rDNA identification, growth optimization)
Analytical chemistry (Quantification of PHA production using FTIR and GC/MS) 
Bioinformatics (Genome assembly and downstream analyses)
Genetic engineering (eg. CRISPR/CAS9; projected work)

Are you a student and interested in an informal talk about our work? Please contact us! 

Read more:

https://framsenteret.no/forum/2019/confronting-one-of-our-greatest-challenges-plastic-waste-in-nature/ (Public outreach article)

MarVal project - "From unexploited marine biomass to high value products" (A UiT Interdisciplinary Research project)

MarPlast project - "Marine microorganisms for bioplastics production" (Partners from Umeå University and University of Bucharest)

or say hello! on LinkedIn 


Lab supervision and report corrections in course:
Introduction to Chemistry and Chemical Biology (KJE-1001)

Publications in CRIStin

  • Christensen, Mikkel; Jablonski, Piotr; Pandur, Seila; Assefa, Netsanet Gizaw; Altermark, Bjørn; Hansen, Hilde. Arctic marine bacteria for bioplastic production. BioCat 2018 conference 2018-06-04 - 2018-06-06 2018.

  • Christensen, Mikkel. Arctic marine bacteria for bioplastic production. Department Day 2018-05-30 - 2018-05-30 2018.

  • Christensen, Mikkel; Altermark, Bjørn; Assefa, Netsanet Gizaw; Pandur, Seila; Smalås, Arne O.; Hansen, Hilde. Arctic, marine bacteria and their ability to produce polyhydroxyalkonates (PHAs) using underexploited biomass as nutrient source. 1st annual BioCat Meeting 2017-06-12 - 2017-06-14 2017.