September 2, 2014 -- In an article in the September issue of BioScience researchers describe Gulf of Mexico microbial communities in the aftermath of the 2010 Macondo blowout. The authors describe revealing population-level responses of hydrocarbon-degrading microbes to the unprecedented deepwater oil plume. The spill provided a unique opportunity to study the responses of indigenous microbial communities to a substantial injection of hydrocarbons. Read more...
August 19, 2014 -- Nature degrades surface and subsurface oil, but that process depends heavily on environmental factors and oil composition. Many different and mostly saturated hydrocarbons, also known as unresolved complex mixtures (UCMs), are typically the dominant component in weathered oil but are difficult to analyze with conventional gas chromatography. As such, there is limited information about their biodegradation. This study’s goal was to learn more about oil compounds using GCxGC to separate and identify UCMs and quantify the rate, extent, and potential cessation of their biodegradation in wet and dry sand environments. Read more...
August 9, 2014 -- One of the remarkable things about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago was the fact that a lot of the contamination was cleaned up by bacteria which simply ate the oil. Now there’s more understanding of how microbes exist in oil which could lead to new technologies for extracting energy from oil deposits deep underground. A group of scientists have been studying an asphalt lake in Trinidad and Tobago where it was previously thought microbes couldn’t live because of the lack of water, but now microbes have been found. Professor Joel Kostka from the Georgia Institute of Technology has been explaining the research to Ginny Smith. Listen to the radio interview...
IN THE NEWS
Oil spills and marine snow: Changing microbial dynamics in the wake of the Macondo blowout
(Source: Science Daily, September 2, 2014)
The immediate aftermath of an oil spill
(Source: Phys.org, August 8, 2014)
FSU Graduate Student Alexandra Harper Seeks to Improve Marine and Human Health with Science-Informed Policy
(Source: GoMRI, July 23, 2014)
Eckerd College students on oil disaster research trip
(Source: Tampa Bay Times, June 25, 2014)
Scientists identify Deepwater Horizon Oil on shore even years later, after most has degraded
(Source: Bigelow Laboratory, June 12, 2014)
In research pacts with industry, scientists guided by principle
(Source: Boston Globe, June 1, 2014)
VOICES FROM THE FIELD
A long-term, interdisciplinary study of deep sea to coast connectivity in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.