Fellowship: Remediation Monitoring using Microbial DNA Profiles
Fellowship: Remediation Monitoring using Microbial DNA ProfilesLindsey Saum, University of California Riverside
Scope of Work:
This fellowship will support Lindsey Saum’s project studying Microbial DNA Profiles. Lingering oil pockets still found in the beaches of the Prince William Sound (PWS) demonstrate that petroleum hydrocarbons can persist and continue to damage ecosystems decades after initial cleanup efforts following a marine oil spill. The goal of this research project is to develop molecular biology tools to monitor the state of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degradation in oil-contaminated beach sediments in near real-time by tracking the dominant bacterial species and their associated dioxygenase genes that function for oil degradation. Bacterial populations of PWS beaches will be collected via sediment sampling as well as activated carbon sampling columns. The results of this project will produce a more rapid and inexpensive method of monitoring the rate of marine oil degradation by microbial communities. Potential application of the data generated by this procedure includes evaluation and addition of the dominant bacterial species’ trace nutrient requirements in order to achieve effective biostimulation in the PWS.