Aquifer Microbiology Research

Project overview

Aquifers are important freshwater reservoirs and thus drinking water source, yet only a little is known about the function and natural character of groundwater ecosystems. This project aims to improve our understanding of how groundwater microbial communities respond to and mitigate problematic anthropogenic pollutants, such as nitrate. A further important goal is to better understand the natural character of groundwater communities. To achieve these aims we are determining the genomic and metabolic capacity of a model alluvial groundwater system that transverses a nutrient contaminant gradient in Canterbury, NZ. Alongside this, we are also analyzing microbial community attributes in a larger selection of national aquifers.


  • Groundwater Sampling 100% 100%
  • Water chemistry 100% 100%
  • Nucleic acid (DNA & RNA) extraction 100% 100%
  • DNA & RNA Sequencing 100% 100%
  • Quantification of Nitrogen Cycling Genes & Expression 100% 100%
  • Genomic Data Analysis 90% 90%
  • Microbial Cultivation Experiments 50% 50%

Related links

More on our project on the University of Auckland news site

See the Genomics Aotearoa github site for our bioinformatic workflows in metagenomics