Research

Current Projects:

Phylochip

PhylochipThe PhyloChip is a high-precision microbial community assessment tool that can simultaneously track both high-abundance and low-abundance bacterial and archaeal taxa for an accurate measure of microbial community dynamics.

 

Remediation of Oil Spills

BP oil rigThe blowout of the Macondo 252 well following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling unit resulted in the release to the environment of approximately 4.2 million barrels of oil and 1.7 x 107 g natural gases into the Gulf of Mexico over an 83 day time period from April to July 2010.  This complex mixture of hydrocarbons was released at a depth of 1500m and subject to physical and chemical partitioning as it moved through the water column.  We identified subsurface hydrocarbon intrusions forming at around 1000-1300m below the surface.

 

Microbially Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery

MEHR projectA fundamental understanding of microbial community structure and function, and its linkage to biogeochemistry in petroleum reservoirs, may enable control of reservoir souring, the release of highly toxic and corrosive hydrogen sulfide through the reduction of sulfate.

 

 

Microbial Source Tracking in California Watersheds

beachHuman impact, in the form of increased urbanization, agricultural practices, wildlife management and decaying infrastructure has resulted in a marked decrease in water quality in California.

 


Thermophilic Composting 

compostingIn this age of drought and weather uncertainty, using high quality water sources at a rate faster than the environment can replenish them for the transportation of sanitary waste is becoming an increasingly unsustainable practice.