University of West Florida
Jim Spain received his PhD in microbiology from The University of Texas at Austin. He worked on fate and transport of marine pollutants including pesticides and petroleum for five years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Marine Environmental Research Laboratory in Gulf Breeze, Florida before joining the Air Force Research Laboratory in 1985. As head of Biotechnology Research he directed a program to discover and develop strategies for biodegradation of industrial and military chemicals including fuels, solvents and explosives. Research at the Air Force also included the exploration of biocatalysts for transformation and synthesis of materials. From 2005 to 2016 he was a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he studied biodegradation of soil and groundwater pollutants. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Research Professor at the University of West Florida. He is a former editor of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and has published extensively on biodegradation and biotransformation of synthetic organic compounds in the environment.