Project Page

A systems approach to improve predictions of biodegradation and ecosystem recovery in coastal marine sediments impacted by oil spill

Implementing Organization

Florida State University


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Chemical Aspects Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

The goals of this project are to link microbial degradation of buried oil and associated transport processes and to integrate these data in a model that allows predictions of pathways and rates of oil degradation, and thus, forecasting recovery pathways in future oil spills. Specific objectives are to: (1) Determine microbial community structure and succession associated with petroleum hydrocarbons buried in sub-, inter- and supratidal coastal sands; (2) Quantitatively link supply rates of oxygen and nutrients to microbial oil degradation rates and community structure in these sands; (3) Develop a model using a systems approach that incorporates microbiological, genomics, biogeochemical and transport data to predict decomposition rates of buried oil in beach sands; (4) Organize a workshop for disseminating our models and associated bioinformatics tools.


Markus Huettel
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