Welcome! My name is John A Donaho and I am a U.S. Marine Corps veteran currently pursuing a B.S. in Biology at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. This summer I have the opportunity to work with Dr. Brett Baker studying hydrocarbon-degrading microbes present in oil-contaminated water. Marine bacteria derive carbon and energy from hydrocarbon degradation. Metagenomic techniques allow us to investigate microorganisms in nature and grant us entry to the microscopic biodiversity that would otherwise be unculturable and unobservable by traditional approaches. Reconstructing the bacterial genomes from samples collected May 2010 from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, will allow us to understand which organisms are involved in oil degradation. Under the guidance and mentorship of both Dr. Baker and Kiley Seitz, we are sequencing, assembling,and analyzing numerous near-complete genomes from the spill communities. With this information we are able to access the novel metabolic pathways involved in such processes and explore ecological roles that these organisms play in hydrocarbon-rich environments.