Career: Microbial Population Dynamics During PCB Bioremediation in Soils

Grants and Contracts Details


There are hundreds of Superfund sites in the US contaminated with PCBs and 38 states with fish consumption advisories due to PCB bioaccumulation. Several biogeochemical processes, acting individually or in combination, attenuate pollutants in soils. However processes are dependent on environmental factors that regulate the growth and activities of specific microbial groups or assemblages, as well as bioavailability of chemicals to degradation. This study investigates the roles of these factors in regulating microbial community composition and detoxification processes in PCB-contaminated wetland soils collected from different parts of the country. Detoxification mechanisms, including a variety of technologies will be investigated in order to ameliorate a highly chlorinated PCB using indigenous soil organisms. This research is unique in that it links changes in environmental conditions with changes in microbial community structure and critical microbial detoxification activities in soils. The overall objective of the proposed research seeks to evaluate whether environmental selection pressures are significantly and reproducibly manifested as changes in microbial populations and PCB transforming activities in different soil environments. For the educational component of the plan - a new Environmental Biogeochemistry Laboratory Methods Manual will be published and used as text materials for a new Environmental Biogeochemistry Summer Field Camp to be held at UK's research forest. The teaching objective is aimed at integrating research, teaching and mentoring through the publication of a Biogeochemistry Laboratory Methods Manual and development of a Biogeochemistry Camp that will be open to graduate and undergraduate students, post docs, and teachers interested in environmental chemistry and microbial ecology. The manual will be a user-friendly guide of step-by-step instructions on some of the latest techniques in environmental research.
Effective start/end date6/1/025/31/08


  • National Science Foundation: $375,002.00


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