Dr Alexander Gissibl

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PhD from Macquarie University

Alexander Gissibl is a Research Fellow in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology in the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at QUT. His primary research is focussed on the development of riboswitch-based biosensors for the metabolic engineering of the methanotrophic bacterium Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum and a cyanobacterium, aiming to improve the nutritional value of biomass generated in co-culture during growth with biogas (methane) and light as inexpensive carbon and/or energy sources. Furthermore, he is establishing anaerobic cultivation capabilities at QUT to facilitate research on low-cost growth substrates for exoelectrogenic bacteria to improve the economics of microbial fuel cells

Research interests and expertise

  • Microbiology and Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology and Synthetic Biology
  • Biomedicine and Biotechnology in general

Projects and education

2019 – now

  • Metabolic engineering of methanotrophic and phototrophic bacteria using riboswitches, aiming to improve the nutritional properties of bacterial biomass produced in co-culture (QUT)
  • Investigation of alternative substrates for the (anaerobic) cultivation of exoelectrogens in microbial fuel cells (QUT)


  • Recombinant production of protein nanoparticles for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases (Macquarie University, Australia)
  • Development of protocols for strain maintenance of anaerobic bacteria (University of New South Wales, Australia)

2015 – 2018

  • Investigation of the carbohydrate metabolism of the microalga Euglena gracillis, focussing on the storage polysaccharide paramylon and potential biotechnological/biomedical applications (PhD project, Macquarie University)


  • Investigation of anaerobic degradation of benzene and of other monocyclic aromatic compounds in Geobacter metallireducens (MSc project, Albert Ludwig University, Germany)


  • PCR-based detection of key enzymes in the anaerobic degradation pathway of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (BSc project, Albert Ludwig University)


  • Gissibl, A., Care, A., Sun, A., Hobba, G., Nevalainen, H., Sunna, A. (2019), Development of screening strategies for the identification of paramylon-degrading enzymes, Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, in press (2017 IF: 3, Q1)
  • Gissibl, A., Sun, A., Care, A., Nevalainen, H., Sunna, A. (2019), Bioproducts from Euglena gracilis: synthesis and applications (review), Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7:1-16 (2017 IF: 4.4, Q1)
  • Gissibl, A., Care, A., Hobba, G., Nevalainen, H., Sunna, A. (2018), Microwave pre-treatment of paramylon enhances the enzymatic production of soluble β‑1,3‑glucans with immunostimulatory activity
  • Carbohydrate Polymers 196:339-347 (2017 IF: 5.4, Q1), Morris, B., Gissibl, A., Kümmel, S., Richnow, H., Boll, M. (2014)
  • A PCR-based assay for the detection of anaerobic naphthalene degradation, FEMS Microbiology Letters 354:55-59 (2014 IF: 2.1, Q2)