Lab Members

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Dr. Leila J. Hamdan
Associate Professor
Division of Coastal Sciences
School of Ocean Science and Technology
University of Southern Mississippi
leila.hamdan@usm.edu

Dr. Hamdan is a molecular microbial ecologist and her studies focus on geomicrobiology and the impact of changing environmental conditions on the structure and function of marine and estuarine communities. Her current studies center on microbial biogeography on continental margins and the impacts of hydrocarbons and chemical dispersants on communities found on artificial reefs (shipwrecks) in the deep biosphere of the Gulf of Mexico.  Her work also addresses the microbiology of marine methane seeps and the role of microorganisms in the development of anoxia in the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to joining the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Hamdan was an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Department at George Mason University, a Research Microbiologist in the Marine Biogeochemistry Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate.

 

Students

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Rachel Mugge
Graduate Research Assistant (MS Program)
Division of Coastal Sciences
School of Ocean Science and Technology
University of Southern Mississippi
rachel.mugge@usm.edu

Rachel’s thesis work focuses on the effects of spill contaminants on microbially-induced corrosion (MIC) and biofilm formation on metal-hulled shipwrecks through field- and lab-based experiments using comparative metagenome analyses.

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Melissa Brock
Graduate Research Assistant (MS Program)
Division of Coastal Sciences
School of Ocean Science and Technology
University of Southern Mississippi
melissa.l.brock@usm.edu

Melissa’s research interests focus on the impact of deep-sea shipwrecks on microbial composition and distribution in the surrounding environment using bioinformatics and statistical approaches.

Former Lab Members

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Dr. Jennifer L. Salerno
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow

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Beth Haley
George Mason University

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Matthew Johnson 
George Mason University

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Fernanda Craig (Febes)

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Zeima Kassahun
Mississippi State University

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Christine Figan
National Institutes of Health

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Sarah Brown
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Avani Casey
University of Virginia

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