Diana Z. Sousa is a Professor of Microbial Physiology at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research. Her research interests are in the study of the metabolic pathways, microbes and microbial networks that anaerobically convert one-carbon molecules such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and methanol, and their application to produce chemicals. An example is her research on the design and development of synthetic co-cultures for the conversion of syngas (produced from wastes or lignocellulosic materials) to medium-chain fatty acids, alcohols and other low solubility added-value products. Other topics researched at her group include, syntrophy, methanogenesis, the microbial sulfur cycle and, more recently, electromicrobiology. Combining her background in biological engineer and expertise in anaerobic microbiology, Diana seeks a better understanding of microbial communities and microbial interactions, while searching for biotechnological applications of these communities in circular economy approaches.
She obtained her PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Minho, Portugal where she also worked as an Assistant Professor in the field of Environmental Biotechnology before moving to Wageningen in 2013. Her research has been supported by a NWO-Perspective Program (MicroSynC) and a Gravitation Grant (SIAM) from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.