Killing marine oil spills

Almost 3/4 of Earth's surface is covered by sea, with an average depth of 4 km.

Therefore, the large majority of microbes on our planet is subjected to pressure sensibly higher than 1 atm.

The microbiome of the deep sea is little known, and metabolic pathways allowing survival in such conditions are still unclear.

The Kill Spill project team investigates biological processes at high hydrostatic pressure in marine environments. In particular, the project focuses on bioremediation of oil which is released into marine environment after spills.

Elucidating how microbes cope with high pressure and oil as the main carbon and energy source is of pivotal importance to address future biotech applications aimed at cleaning polluted environments in a biocompatible way at the deep sea.


Prof. Nico Boon