Featured Projects

Microbial Biodegradation of Crude Oil

Providing information on the oil-degrading microbes

Crude oil in Arctic sediments

Caption:

Crude oil in Arctic sediments

Background

Understanding how oil behaves over time is important in the remediation process after a spill event. This project seeks to investigate what role microbes play in the process of breaking oil down in newly and historically contaminated sediments.

Methods

Samples collected from contaminated sediments will be analyzed for their genetic content to identify microbial genes, pathways of oil degradation, and to assess their distribution across all samples. Models will be used to examine the relationship between the genes observed and the degradation rates of individual oil compounds.

Results

These steps will provide information on the oil-degrading microbes present and their role in degrading oil in marine sediments in Alaska.