Methane Vials
Credit: Valentine Lab

Hydrocarbons such as methane, ethane, propane and butane are energy sources for microbes and for society, are greenhouse gases, and under some circumstances they are ecosystem drivers. We have a long-standing interest in the microbial production and consumption of these compounds, particularly in marine sediments and waters. We have previously investigated the rates at which these process occur in nature, the physiology of the responsible microbes, and the controls on the processes.