We proudly present our talented students

Wouter Schuiten

Graduation internship: Assessment of microbial communities in different soil types using 16S data

Hello, I am Wouter Schuiten, I am a 29-year-old student of Bioinformatics from Groningen. I started my graduation internship within Bioclear Earth in February 2020. I work on innovations within the theme of soil health. In my previous project I studied how the 18S data can be used for taxonomic analysis and protein/ metabolism. In my current project I focus on the 16S data. The goal is to identify microbial communities in different soil types. I compare soils based on, for example, chemical composition (such as the amount of nitrogen) and subsequently study which differences I see in bacterial species. The aim is to determine which species we can find in which soils. We then study which functions they perform in the soil and which benefits they have for the soil, so that we can provide better advice on managing the soil in the long term.

Sjoerd Jan de Vries

Graduation project: biopulping

My name is Sjoerd Jan, I am 25 years old and in the final year of my Master's in Biomolecular Sciences at the RuG. Before I graduate, I am working as an intern on a project concerning the cultivation of white rot fungi at Bioclear earth.

Within the biopulping project we attempt to break down biomass with enzymes from white rot fungi, to subsequently process this biomass in bio-fermenters or the paper industry. My job within this project is to induce these fungi to produce as many enzymes as possible. It is very motivating to do an internship at Bioclear earth. You are able to work on real problems and to really contribute to a solution. As a student, you get a lot of freedom and it is appreciated when you come up with your own ideas

Leon Philips

Graduation project: Biopulping

My name is Leon Philips (24). I am a fourth-year student of Biomedical Research at Hanze University, with a minor in biotechnology. My graduation project concerns the Biopulping project in which lignin is selectively broken down with white rot fungi in a sustainable way.

My task within this project is to ensure that when the medium is produced on a large scale it does not get contaminated (robust), without making major costs such as thermal sterilization of the medium. To achieve this, I am changing the recipe of the medium in order to give the white rot fungus the largest possible advantage on other microorganisms. The lower cost of a robust medium makes Biopulping more attractive.

An example of an application of Biopulping is the pre-treatment of straw, after which it can be converted into valuable methane in a digester. Biopulping offers a green alternative to current chemical and physical pre-processing techniques.

It is incredibly satisfying to do an internship at Bioclear earth. I could not wish for a better team to work with. The team is full of knowledge, humor and passion. There are many opportunities to challenge yourself and learn more within Bioclear earth. The confidence that Bioclear earth has in me, gives me the opportunity to use all my knowledge and talents for the benefit of nature.

Matt Drury

Graduation project: sustainable grassland management

Hello. I’m Matt and I’m completing my Msc in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources. I’m from the UK but I’ve been living in the Netherlands since 2015. During my internship, I’m doing research into grassland management practices by farmers. Specifically, I’m investigating current practice regarding grassland renovation, and the factors that play a role in farmers’ decision-making about how and when to renovate. This involves collecting data by survey and by in-depth semi-structured interviews with farmers. 

It is hoped that by identifying and evaluating the sustainability of current practices, along with the reasons for the utilization of such measures, the barriers to more economic and environmentally sustainable grassland management can be identified. Following this, steps to overcome these barriers can be developed. 

Bioclear earth has provided me with a strong platform to develop and conduct my research. I have been given responsibility for shaping the direction of the project, and my colleagues have supported me throughout this process. Overall, working here has been a positive experience and encouraged me to develop in directions that I had not anticipated.

Liza Rouyer

Graduation project: microbial optimisation of compost

Hello! I’m Liza, I’m from France and I will be doing an internship at Bioclear Earth for the next 6 months. I am completing my Master's degree in Biotechnology, as well as a Msc in Plants and Molecular Biology. During my internship, I will be working on compost optimisation for organic agriculture. Soil biology is of the utmost importance for agriculture. A variety of micro-organisms in the soil are shown to have functions relevant for the protection against phytopathogens. A way to make agriculture more sustainable is through applying enhanced compost to the fields in order to reduce the use of chemicals. I will look for bacteria and fungi that can be implemented into different composts in order to obtain a better overall soil quality and/or to reduce diseases, mainly focusing on potato and lily crops.

I am very excited to be part of this project, and I hope that the work I will be conducting at Bioclear earth will help to improve sustainable practices.

Maaike Hooghiemstra

Internship project: Adsorption and degradation of pesticides in ground and surface water

My name is Maaike Hooghiemstra and I am in the final year of my master Ecology & Evolution at the University of Groningen. I am currently doing an internship at Bioclear earth, where I am involved in the adsorption and degradation of pesticides.

Pesticides are often difficult to degrade and can end up in ground and surface water through leaching. The goal of my project is to find substances that adsorb pesticides, which increases the retention time. In addition, we will look at fungi and bacteria that can subsequently break down these pesticides, so that the adsorbents retain their effect.

I am very happy to do my internship at Bioclear earth. Bioclear earth uses biology to solve problems in a sustainable way and to participate in such a project is very interesting. Furthermore, it is a nice company with a friendly atmosphere.

Grigorios Raftis

Graduation internship: Bio pulping, a techno-economic assessment

Hello! I am Greg and I am following a MSc Biomolecular Sciences in RUG with a specialization in Science, Business and Policy. I’m from Greece and my background is in Biochemistry and Biotechnology. During my graduation internship at Bioclear earth, I’m working on the techno – economic assessment of bio pulping. My job is to find the best technological equipment for bio pulping, analyse the cost and promote the innovation to potential customers. This involves designing the technological procedures, contacting suppliers and promoting the innovation to society.

I really like working on my graduation project at Bioclear earth. The company is very open and gives me the freedom and motivation to work on my own ideas. My colleagues are always open for questions and they give me their feedback whenever I need it.



Internships at Bioclear earth

Are you interested in an internship at Bioclear earth? Send a personal motivation letter and your curriculum vitae to info@bioclearearth.nl.