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The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem

A tale of two Gulf spills: A research consortium of 17 institutions from 5 countries studying the impacts of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.

GoMRI Scholar-Grad Student Viamonte Puts Pressure on Microbial Oil Degradation

  • Thursday, 27 September 2018
  • Written by 

Our own Juan Viamonte, a PhD student from the Hamburg University of Technology-Institute of Biocatalysis, is the newest GoMRI Scholar.

Oil-degrading microbes require oxygen to metabolize oil compounds. Juan and fellow C-IMAGE graduate students Steffen Hackbusch and Nuttapol Noirungsee combine microbes collected near the Deepwater Horizon site with oil and seawater inside high-pressure reactors that simulate conditions at 1,500 meters depth and 4° C. Juan observes the oxygen consumption of microbes and monitors their biodegradation process. When oxygen depletion, he assumes that the microbes have consumed all the oil that they can.

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