Andrew has always been fascinated with the microscopic world and how the microorganisms play a great role in the planet Earth's ecosystems. Andrew took a job at the United States Geological Survey studying and analyzing diatoms, knowing he would gain useful knowledge about these siliceous organisms that would help him better understand the micro-world. While working at the USGS, Andrew conducted and examined taxonomic analyses of diatom microfossil species distributions in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Mid- Atlantic states (both marine and freshwater species), and focused on building regional species databases and analyzed environmental drivers of species distributions. Additionally, Andrew realized how important and interesting diatoms can be for the human civilization, as for instance when desiring to determine water quality in areas of the world that do not have proper analytic instruments, at the very basic level, all one needs is a microscope and one can determine water quality based on presence and abundance of specific species. His job at USGS also allowed him to more adequately prepare for a Ph.D graduate degree in Microbiology with an emphasis on Astrobiology. Andrew has life-long dreams of working for NASA or a private company specializing in space and planetary sciences. Andrew is curious to investigate if diatoms (or other microorganisms) have a viable role in helping to create oxygen and biofuels for humans here on planet Earth, as well as the astronauts aboard spacecrafts and or terraforming icy moons like Saturn's Enceladus. Andrew has worked in several University of South Florida – College of Marine Sciences laboratories where he was initially exposed to the intriguing study of diatoms via investigation of marine whiting events off the coast of southwest Florida.

Species contributed

Tryblionella granulata