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Grad Student Hamilton Hunts Oil Using Microbes

November 11, 2015
Bryan Hamilton never planned to be a microbiologist, but when the opportunity arose to study microbes that produce biosurfactant in response to oil exposure, he was drawn in completely. His research investigated the potential connection between these microbes and natural surface slicks and if this connection could help scientists detect oil below the water’s surface.

Bryan completed a marine biology masters’ degree at Nova Southeastern University while he was a GoMRI Scholar with CARTHE. He shared the research experiences that altered the path of his scientific career.

His Path

Bryan first saw the ocean when he was six years old during a family trip to the East Coast and became fascinated with the marine life he encountered. He realized then that he wanted to work in the marine environment when he grew up. After high school, he attended the Palm Beach Atlantic University to study marine biology.

Bryan credits his involvement with GoMRI research to Dr. Alexandre Soloviev who had a graduate student position available studying marine bacteria in his physical oceanography lab at Nova Southeastern University. Bryan was initially unsure of his interest in studying bacteria (he felt more like a shark guy), but was hooked when he learned he would be investigating sea-surface bacteria’s role in slick formation. “The research sounded like something I would love to be a part of,” he said. “That project was part of CARTHE and introduced me to many of the researchers I work with today.”

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