Samantha “Sam” Setta conducts DNA extractions with help from collaborators on the ADDOMEx team at Mount Allison University in Canada. (Photo by Laura Bretherton)

Grad Student Setta Studies Microbial Interactions to Inform Oil Spill Response Strategies

Phytoplankton and bacteria in the northern Gulf of Mexico interact closely at the food web base and provide vital food and nutrients to marine life at higher trophic levels. During the Deepwater Horizon incident, these pervasive organisms played an important role in oil bioremediation before and after the application of chemical dispersants, which broke up surface slicks into smaller droplets and enhanced microbial degradation.

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