Prospective graduate students may contact this person about availability as a faculty advisor.
As an aquatic microbiologist and microbial ecologist my research interests are primarily as follows:
- biodegradation of anthropogenic compounds and the microorganisms that are capable of degrading environmental contaminants in aquatic environments,
- the genome of Cycloclasticus pugetii, a marine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) - degrading bacterium originally discovered in Puget Sound, but later isolated from many different marine sites from around the world,
- microbiology of aquatic animals and understanding the role of microorganisms in the health and nutrition of aquatic animals found in natural and aquaculture settings. Dr, Herwig is particularly interested in the role of microorganisms in the health and nutrition of cetaceans, sharks, and bivalve mollusks,
- development of ballast water treatment technologies that can be used to control the introduction of non-indigenous organisms and the development of technologies to measure viable organisms present at the extremely low concentrations found in treated ballast water,
- the introduction of non-indigenous aquatic organisms, including microorganisms, in ballast water, and
- development of teaching methods that enhance the learning of students in science courses, and the use of social media and podcasts to engage the public in science literacy.
My research experiences are varied but I have focused on the development and use of molecular methods to understand the composition of microbial communities and to identify the presence of particular microbial species in environmental samples. I actively collaborate and enjoy working with students, scientists, engineers from other disciplines and who work at the UW and at other institutions.