Dr Joses Nathanael
Post doctoral researcher - Theme 2 and 3
Urea is one of the most frequently used nitrogen fertilisers to increase crop production in the agricultural industry. The majority of urea nitrogen enters plants in the form of ammonium ions after degradation by enzyme urease from soil microbes. However, due to the low efficiency of nitrogen uptake, about 50% of the applied nitrogen flows into waterways and atmosphere, resulting in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. One of the strategies to improve nitrogen uptake is by inhibiting urease to slow down urea degradation. Joses’ work looks at developing new urease inhibitors that perform better than the current commercial ones. These compounds will then be tested in Australian soils to assess their potential as a new generation of soil urease inhibitors.
Joses completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2019 under Prof Uta Wille. He explored the fundamental reactivity of air pollutants with biomolecules, such as peptides, amino acids and lipids. He believes that fundamental research is necessary to improve mechanistic understanding of chemical interactions of air pollutants with biological systems. The results from these studies can then be used as a building block to study more complex model systems, which is ultimately important to ensure future wellbeing and combat adverse health effects of air pollution. Joses’ work heavily involved organic synthesis and kinetic studies using laser flash photolysis. With his expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and physical organic chemistry, Joses joined the Wille Group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2019.