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Leila Hamdan

Dr. Leila Hamdan

Associate Professor


Dr. Hamdan is a molecular microbial ecologist and her studies focus on geomicrobiology and the impact of changing environmental conditions on the structure and function of marine and estuarine communities. Her current studies center on microbial biogeography on continental margins and the impacts of hydrocarbons and chemical dispersants on communities found on artificial reefs (shipwrecks) in the deep biosphere of the Gulf of Mexico. Her work also addresses the microbiology of marine methane seeps and the role of microorganisms in the development of anoxia in the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to joining the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Hamdan was an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Department at George Mason University, a Research Microbiologist in the Marine Biogeochemistry Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate.

  • PHD - George Mason University (2003)
  • MS - George Mason University (2000)

Marine Microbial Ecology
Aquatic Ecosystem Management
Professional Skills for Graduate Students

  • Deep-sea shipwrecks represent island-like ecosystems for marine microbiomes, The ISME Journal, 2021
  • Rapid sulfur cycling in sediments from the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone featuring simultaneous sulfate reduction and sulfide oxidation, Limnology and Oceanography, 2021
  • Microbial functional responses in marine biofilms exposed to Deepwater Horizon spill contaminants, Frontiers in Microbiology, 2021
  • Biogeochemical consequences of nonvertical methane transport in sediment offshore northwestern Svalbard, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 2020
  • Deep-Sea biofilms, historic shipwreck preservation and the Deepwater Horizon spill, Frontiers in Marine Science, 2019
  • Marine biofilm bacterial community response and carbon steel loss following Deepwater Horizon spill contaminant exposure, Biofouling, 2019
  • Exposure to crude oil and chemical dispersant may impact marine microbial biofilm composition and steel corrosion, Frontiers in Marine Science, 2018
  • Methane emissions from oceans, coasts, and freshwater habitats: New perspectives and feedbacks on climate, Limnology and Oceanography, 2016
  • Gulf of Mexico Shipwreck Corrosion, Hydrocarbon Exposure, Microbiology, and Archaeology (GOMSCHEMA) Project: studying the effects of a major oil spill on submerged cultural resources, Underwater Archaeology Proceedings of the 2015 Society for Historical Archaeology Conference, Seattle, WA. Columbus, OH, Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology, 2015
  • Sulfate reduction and methane oxidation activity below the sulfate-methane transition zone in Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin sediments: Implications for deep sulfur cycling, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2014
  • Coastal and Estuarine Reserach Federation
  • Association for Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
  • American Geophysical Union

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Contact Me

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Cedar Point Research Bldg 120B



Areas of Expertise

Marine Microbial Ecology