"The ubiquity of microorganisms, and their impact on the world around us cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, only about one percent of bacteria can be cultivated in a lab setting using traditional techniques. This leaves us with a massive knowledge gap when attempting to assess the role microbes play within various environmental processes. This gap can be partially filled through the use of molecular (DNA based) techniques, allowing us to "see" these once-invisible microbes."
Spencer Crook is a Master's Student at Ryerson University in the Environmental Applied Science and Management Program. His thesis at Ryerson is focused on the effects of microorganisms on the proposed deep geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel.
Spencer is the recipient of a Dutch Liberation Scholarship and is attending graduate school at Wageningen University in The Netherlands from January until July. Spencer is working on a thesis project in Wageningen with Nora Sutton related to the microbial degradation of pesticides in soil and groundwater, with a focus on molecular techniques.