Motivation & Goals

Water is at the foundation of our lives, which tend to be more and more urbanized. As water resources are limited, water needs to be purified after use and redistributed in order to close the urban water cycle. Microbial communities have a central role to play to close the urban cycle in a safe and sustainable way. Microbes can either be valuable actors, for example by removing pollutants in an energy efficient manner, or can be a nuisance, as it is the case if pathogenic bacteria establish themselves in water distribution systems.

Managing microbial resources in the urban water cycle is thus a crucial goal in a world where water resources are threatened and where the provision of pathogen free water to consumers is essential. This however presents major challenges as we lack some of the conceptual foundations and practical tools to understand and control the massively diverse microbial communities present in these open systems. These challenges can only be met by a trans-disciplinary research effort complemented by a training program designed to educate promising young researchers to solve current and upcoming problems in the urban water cycle using innovative technologies based on microbial communities.


MERMAID aims to:

  • Prepare young researchers to solve tomorrow’s technical and environmental challenges in the water sector using Microbial Resource Management;
  • Pose and answer central questions on the behavior, activity, and composition of open microbial communities, to solve specific and broader problems in science and industry;
  • Support the development of novel, science-based, water engineering biotechnologies;
  • Reach out to the general audience to share the science and the findings at the core of Mermaid;

MERMAID offers PhD students:

  • an outstanding research-based scientific training in leading academic and private laboratories;
  • network-wide training activities across Europe;
  • a real life exposure to work in the private sector.
22 MARCH 2019