Hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities in deep waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea were studied under in situ pressure and temperature conditions in high-pressure bioreactors.
The degradation rate of crude oil at plume concentrations, with and without dispersant, and successional changes in the hydrocarbon-degrading communities were addressed in time-series experiments using un-decompressed seawater samples, retrieved with the aid of a pressure-retaining sampler.
The effect of depressurization during sample retrieval with or without re-pressurization in lab incubations will also be discussed.
Dr Evina Gontikaki is a biologist (BSc Honours, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) with expertise in oceanography and marine microbial ecology (MSc in Oceanography, University of Southampton, UK). She obtained her PhD from the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Aberdeen (UK) where she focused on degradation of organic matter in deep sea sediments using stable isotope tracing and molecular biology (-omics) techniques. She is particularly interested in novel microorganisms and/or metabolic pathways and enzymes with applications in bioremediation.
Currently, Evina is an independent research fellow at the School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete (Greece) studying the biodegradation of crude oil in the deep sea and the development of bioremediation tools with applications in deep-sea oil spills.