Unconventional natural gas extraction or fracking can lead to contamination and impact environmental health. Researchers plan to use high-throughput sequencing to reveal the microbial biodegradation pathways and adaptive strategies harnessed by microbial communities in response to potential fracking impacts. Through a controlled comparative genomics study, they hope to gain a clearer understanding of the natural microbial community’s response to hydrofracking, as well as help develop in situ remediation strategies. The team focuses on data from samples collected at selected watersheds, and pre-fracking and post-fracking surface water and sediment samples. This sampling strategy will highlight differences in the functional capacity of the microbial community in response to fracking development.
Proposer’s Name: Regina Lamendella, Juniata College