Expedition Team

Gregory Boyd - Research Assistant


Gregory Boyd is a research assistant at SEA working on a collaborative research project to better understand the microbiomes associated with natural and anthropogenic substrates, as well as free-living microbes in seawater. The overall goal of the NSF-funded project is to characterize the diversity, distribution and abundance of microorganisms on plastic marine debris, a community referred to as the “plastisphere”.  Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are collaborating with SEA on this project.

Greg graduated from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology. While attending SUNY-ESF, he started a sustainable biodiesel demonstration facility as a model for other universities to produce a local, cleaner-burning, fossil-free fuel.  He performed research on microbial production and degradation of biodegradable plastics grown on waste stream carbon sources (e.g. Glycerol, which is the byproduct of biodiesel production). This is where he learned to love the complex characteristics and diverse functions of microbes, as well as the importance of sustainability.

For the last three years Greg has been part of “team science” at SEA sailing as an assistant scientist on numerous SEA Semesters. His passion about the research to be performed and his excitement for this expedition is overwhelming. He is optimistic that the fundamental research and public outreach from this trip will help our world’s oceans at a time when they need it most.