Lab Affiliation: Arpita Bose
My research investigates the microbiology and biogeochemistry of the deep sea - the largest and the least explored habitat on the surface of our planet, with a focus on microbial anaerobic ethane oxidation. Because ethane is the second most abundant short-chain alkane in marine ecosystems, its microbial degradation linked to sulfate reduction would affect carbon and sulfur cycling in areas rich in ethane. Using the sediments retrieved from the Garden Banks mud volcano site (597 m deep), northern Gulf of Mexico, I attempt to show the prevalence of this novel metabolism in marine ecosystems, a process previously described for methane and propane oxidation. This work will provide new insights into the role of microbes in hydrocarbon degradation that can be crucial to understanding the underlying biogeochemistry and the ecosystem function in areas rich in ethane. I’m currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Bose lab.