Spain, Jim

Dr. Jim Spain

  • Position:  Research Professor
  • Department:  Biology/CEDB
  • Office Location:  Building 83, Room 118
  • Campus: 850.474.2806


Dr. Spain is a research professor with a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. For more information on Dr. Spain, click the link below.

Degrees & Institutions:

Ph.D. Microbiology/Biochemistry, University of TX, Austin, 1979
B.S. Biology and Chemistry, University of TX, Arlington, 1973


Professor Spain studies environmental biotechnology related to marine, freshwater and subsurface ecosystems to enable elimination of environmental pollution. The emphasis is on discovery and characterization of bacteria that degrade environmentally relevant chemicals. He uses a broad range of techniques from microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbial ecology, and bioinformatics to reveal the biodegradation mechanisms of organic compounds along with the ecology and evolution of the bacteria that catalyze the processes. Recent work has resulted in the discovery of novel enzymes that expand the understanding of metabolic diversity and capabilities of microorganisms that degrade nitroaromatic chemicals.

Keywords: environmental biotechnology, marine, freshwater, subsurface ecosystems, environmental pollution, characterization of bacteria, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbial ecology, and bioinformatics, biodegradation mechanisms, organic compounds, ecology and evolution of the bacteria, novel enzymes, metabolic diversity, capabilities of microorganisms, nitroaromatic chemicals