Jess Courson, Collaborator (University of Louisiana)

Jess Courson is pursuing a master’s degree in biology through the University of Louisiana. Her time in the Ruff lab will focus on microbial methane consumption in wetlands. Wetlands are the largest natural source of methane emissions. Methane-consuming microbes reduce these emissions by using methane as their sole carbon source. Methane consumption in freshwater sediments is apparently increased by bioturbating Chironomid fly larvae. Her project will explore how insect bioirrigation influences the oxygen availability in sediments, and the rate of methane removal. Methane removal due to insect activity may be an overlooked sink of the greenhouse gas.

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