Darrell Jay Grimes, Ph.D.
- Professor – Department of Coastal Sciences, Marine Microbial Ecology
- Member – GCRL Marine Microbiology Group
- Chair - Advisory Panel, NOAA Oceans and Human Health Initiative
fax: (228) 818-8848
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Research in the Marine Microbiology laboratory is primarily focused on the Vibrios. The genus Vibrio now includes over 70 species and is considered by most marine microbiologists to comprise the dominant culturable bacteria in the ocean. Much of the research has focused on V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus, although we have recently started looking at the abundance and distribution of V. cholerae in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. We are especially interested in the ecology of these indigenous marine bacteria and the factors that allow them to cause disease in humans and other animals. Current research projects include: forcasting the abundance and distribution of V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus in coastal waters by using satellite remote sensing; examining the abundance and distribution of virulent strains of V. parahaemolyticus in the Northern Gulf of Mexico; understanding the role of type 3 secretion systems (T3SS) in the ecology of V. parahaemolyticus, determining the role played by sediment in harboring V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus in Mississippi Sound; viable but nonculturable Vibrios; naturally occurring Vibrios and other bacteria in elasmobranch fishes; examining the distribution and function of the enzyme urease in V. parahaemolyticus strains and understanding the role of Vibrios in biodegradation of wastes in the ocean. Finally, because the GCRL has a large research and development program in marine fish aquaculture, the Marine Microbiology laboratory works with the GCRL marine aquaculture team to study bacterial diseases, especially vibriosis.