Petroleum Microbiology Research Laboratory

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
Area(s) of Expertise

The laboratory is equipped to address fundamental and applied research questions related to the roles that microbes play in the oil and gas industry, either beneficially or detrimentally.  Infrastructure is available to address research questions or problems using cultivation, analytical chemistry, and molecular biology approaches.

What the facility does

Petroleum microbiology related to hydrocarbon biodegradation, bioremediation, enhanced oil recovery, biocorrosion, oil sands tailings pond microbiology, and identifying and characterizing microbial communities and their functions in diverse  environments

Research Services

Analytical chemistry, Molecular biology

Sectors of Application
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Petroleum Microbiology Research Lab

Gas chromatograph-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID)

Analysis of oil and oil-related components


Gas chromatograph-Thermal Conductivity Detector (GC-TCD)

Analysis of gases related to petroleum and microbial metabolism


Gas chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)

Hydrocarbon and microbial metabolite analysis


High Pressure Liquid/Ion Chromatograph

Analysis of anions and a variety of water soluble components



Regular and quantitative thermocyclers to amplify and quantify genes



Processing of cells and subcellular components for biodegradation studies and enzymatic transformations



Measures toxicity as indicator of successful biodegradation/ biodetoxification

  • Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance
  • Canada School of Energy and Environment
  • Génome Canada
  • InnoTech Alberta



Game Changers, U Magazine, Spring 2013 issue, pp. 18-22

Research Project Focuses on Microbial-Induced Pipeline Corrosion, Materials Performance (NACE International), March 2017, Vol. 56, No. 3, pp. 14-17.…