Student Wins National Award for BP Oil Spill Research

Alabama State University sophomore Shayla Duncan is the 2013 award recipient of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Undergraduate Research Capstone Program for research she conducted on the 2010 BP (Deepwater Horizon) Oil Spill.

Duncan, a biology major from Columbus, Ga., will receive up to $1,500 toward travel to the ASM Presentation Institute and ASM General Meeting in Denver, Co., as well as a two-year ASM student membership.

Her research abstract poster is titled "The Putative Role of Phytoplankton -- Hydrocarbon-utilizing Microbial Interactions in Biodegradation of Deepwater Horizon Oil in Gulf of Mexico Surface Waters."

Dr. Peter A. Noble, an associate professor at ASU, was Duncan's mentor. Noble is a nationally recognized expert for the research he has conducted at ASU on the BP Oil Spill and its effects on the Gulf's ecosystem.

“When you work hard, you get rewarded. Shayla works hard; she wants to get ahead and be successful in life,” Noble said.

Duncan also is the author of a peer-reviewed paper that currently is in review, Noble said.

The ASM, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization, with more than 40,000 members worldwide.