Nivatha Balendra, an 18-year-old student at Montreal’s Marianopolis College, may have found the answer to cleaning up oil spills in bodies of water right in her own backyard.
The young scientist found a particular strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria while rooting around in her backyard and along the St. Lawrence river. The bacteria is used in biocontrol methods — that is, organic solutions to controlling oil spills.
“I wanted to see if any of the bacteria found in soil samples had this oil-ingesting capacity,” Nivatha told CBC Daybreak’s Shawn Apel on Tuesday morning.
The discovery is taking the 18-year-old to Los Angeles in early May, where she’s a finalist at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
“Essentially, my project focuses on a more environmentally-friendly solution to [cleaning up] oil spills, which are of course the main instigators of water pollution, and water pollution is a really pressing issue that we’re facing today,” she continued…read more.
Feature image courtesy of CBC.