Friday, May 17, 2013

Curtis Okolovitch's Internship, Summer 2013 - Part 1

Hey everyone! 

My name is Curtis Okolovitch and I am currently a junior studying Marine Biology at Florida State University. During the course of my Deep-C Internship, I am fortunate enough to be working with Dr. Joel Kostka, Kala Marks, and the rest of the Kostka Lab here at Georgia Tech. Our main goal this summer is to culture the oil-degrading bacteria, Alcanivorax sp. and Acinetobacter sp., and quantify oil degradation and oil toxicity in relation to these strains. 

Though I only started a week ago, I have already learned so much!  The Kostka Lab has been very helpful in my learning of the molecular techniques used in microbial ecology. 

Me aliquoting media in preparation for our cultures of Alcanivorax sp. and Acinetobacter sp.
Me aliquoting media in preparation for our
cultures of Alcanivorax sp. and Acinetobacter sp.
This past week, we have been extracting DNA from samples we received from the University of West Florida in order to characterize members of the microbial communities present before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. In addition, we have been preparing the marine water media for culturing the strains of oil degrading bacteria. Some of these inocula we will start incubating next week and then analyze the total petroleum hydrocarbons using gas chromatography in a few weeks down in the Huettel Lab at FSU! Using this data, we hope to identify the differences in total petroleum hydrocarbons between the pure crude oil and oil exposed to microbial degradation. 
Until next time,

Post Author: 
Curtis Okolovitch

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