Campus News

Dangerous dispersants

Samantha Joye’s recent findings that the dispersants used after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have done more harm than good attracted news coverage from sources like The Atlantic and U.S. News&World Report.

Joye, the Athletic Association Professor in Marine Sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in the The Christian Science Monitor, explaining how dispersants suppressed oil-eating bacteria’s ability to degrade the oil.

“The fact that dispersants drove distinct microbial community shifts that impacted oil degradation efficiently came as a big surprise,” Joye said. “It is critical to quantify the factors that influence the efficiency of oil biodegradation in the environment, and that includes dispersants.”