Hello, my name is Alexander and this year I will be starting a QUADRAT studentship at QUB. My project involves studying the methylotrophs from the unusual Movile Cave in Romania. The Movile cave ecosystem has been sealed from the surface for 5.5 million years and is dependent on the products of chemosynthesis not photosynthesis. I was drawn to the project because of its use of synthetic communities and metagenomics, tools I became interested in as an undergraduate however I’m also fascinated by Movile Cave itself at least in part owing to my hobby of caving. However the bounds of this project don’t lie completely within the confines of Movile Cave, methane is a potent greenhouse gas, understanding the organisms that metabolise it may help us reduce its impact on the earth’s climate in the future. After a year out of academia, I can’t wait to get stuck in, just not stuck in Movile Cave.