People

This section contains stories about scientists, teachers, students, and others involved in research. They give a glimpse at what research involves and how one might become a researcher.

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GoMRI ScientistsOutreachPeopleTeachers and Students SeaGlide Workshop Engages Teachers and Students in Ocean Research Technology 3973a

LADC-GEMM researchers from Oregon State University, the University of New Orleans, and Proteus Technologies explained how they use ocean gliders to collect temperature, pressure, and acoustic data such as sounds made by Gulf of Mexico whales and dolphins. The team guided the participants in constructing their own SeaGlide models assisted by eight Warren Easton Charter Read More

GoMRI ScientistsOutreachPeopleTeachers and Students CONCORDE Leads Expedition for Early Career Scientists 4005

The consortium led an expedition to Deer Island to teach early career scientists about the island’s history and how to create an elevation profile using elevation rods. They also explored the island to observe changes from one side to the other. See the original post here!

Citizen SciencePeopleProjects CRGC Hosts Second Executive Leadership Training Module 3997

The Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities (CRGC), the Institute for Disaster Resilience and Humanitarian Affairs at George Washington University, and the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) at Tulane University are hosting the second module of “Planning for Resilient Communities” Executive Leadership Training for the inaugural cohort of Southeastern Louisiana Disaster Resilience Leadership Fellows, who first Read More

Citizen SciencePeopleTeachers and Students CARTHE Hosts Poetry Competition Winners 3993

Students participating in the Piano Slam contest created works of poetry inspired by a specific musical selection. The winners of this year’s contest and their families were invited to visit the University of Miami, where they toured the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, learned about CARTHE research, and rewatched their winning poetry performances. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsGoMRI StudentsLesson PlansMaterialsOutreachStudent ActivitiesTeachers and Students Virtual Lab Creates More “Wow” Moments in Science Discovery 4009a

A child’s face lit up with wonder as she peered into a microscope for the first time and discovered a new world. Researchers at the Miami-based RECOVER consortium want experiences like this to happen more often for more students, so they designed and developed the RECOVER Virtual Lab. Now, scientists can engage students ages 8 Read More

GoMRI StudentsPeople Grad Student Girard Uses High-Definition Imagery to Assess Post-Spill Coral Recovery 4014a

Deep-sea corals are important organisms that support a healthy and diverse deep-sea ecosystem. However, there is much we do not know about certain coral species, including how they grow, reproduce, or interact with other organisms. Fanny Girard’s research helps bridge that knowledge gap through her work on how disturbances such as oil spills affect deep-sea Read More

GoMRI StudentsPeople Grad Student Dykstra Sees Global Applications for Local Ocean Circulation Maps 4031a

When Deepwater Horizon oil approached coastal environments, it was unclear how river water entering the Gulf of Mexico would affect the oil’s transport and fate. Steve Dykstra uses drifters and ship-deployed sensors to study how freshwater plumes disperse in the coastal environment over different seafloor topography. He plans to someday use his findings and experience Read More

OutreachPeople DROPPS Participates in UTMSI’s Women in Marine Science Day 4068

Team members recently taught 8th grade girls about plankton and how dispersed oil affects them for the University of Texas Marine Science Institute’s Women in Marine Science Day event. They projected live plankton on a screen to demonstrate how they move and then guided the girls in making their own plankton and discussing how they would Read More

GoMRI ScientistsOutreachPeopleTeachers and Students CARTHE and RECOVER Host Boy Scout Troup 4063

A group of Boy Scouts recently visited the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science to complete their oceanography badge. The boys met with members of the CARTHE and RECOVER teams and visited the SUSTAIN Laboratory’s wind wave tank. Photos from the visit are available here and here!

GoMRI StudentsPeople Grad Student Diamante Investigates How PAHs Affect Fish Development 4084a

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can disrupt important signaling pathways that transcribe genes during fish’s early embryonic development, which could cause malformations. Graciel Diamante is conducting laboratory experiments with fish embryos to understand how weathered PAHs affect fish development. She is also finding that her work demonstrates the importance of perseverance, giving back, and collaborating within Read More

GoMRI StudentsPeople Grad Student Quas Analyzes Sediment Grain Size to Characterize Oil Behavior 3915a

Oil droplets can attach to tiny sediment particles suspended in the water column, causing them to sink to the seafloor where they can linger for a long time. Sediment grain size influences if and how oil droplets are resuspended into the water column. Larger particles sink faster and are more difficult to resuspend in the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsOutreach C-IMAGE to Host Second Story Collider Event 3946

The C-IMAGE Story Collider is a free spoken word event providing five life stories about the Gulf of Mexico oil spills. The event will take place during on Monday, February 6, at 7 pm at Club XLIV in New Orleans, Louisiana. More information about the event is available here.

PeopleProjects GoMRI RFP-V: Chemical evolution & degradation of petroleum in saline marsh plants & soils (Van Bael) 3942

The importance of bacteria for biodegradation of petroleum is well described for contaminated seawater and coastal soils, but very little is known about the role of symbiotic plant bacteria in degrading petroleum. Endophytes are bacteria and fungi that live as symbionts within plant roots, stems and leaves. These symbionts are closely associated with the plant Read More

PeopleProjects GoMRI RFP-V: Resilience Attributes for Children, Youth, and Communities in Deepwater Horizon (Slack) 3938

The Understanding Resilience Attributes for Children, Youth, and Communities in the Wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill project is lead by Tim Slack, Louisiana State University. This proposal outlines a research agenda to assess the public health impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with special emphasis Read More

GoMRI ScientistsPeople Colwell Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow 3884

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) congratulates its Research Board Chair Dr. Rita Colwell for her selection as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow. This honor is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific innovative spirit in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that make a tangible impact on Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Identifying the “Missing Link” Between River-Induced Fronts and Hydrocarbon Transport 3859a

Researcher Oscar Garcia-Pineda demonstrates some of the methods the team uses to collect imagery and samples of floating oil near MC20. (Provided by Villy Kourafalou) The flow of the Mississippi River into the northern Gulf of Mexico may have caused circulation patterns and fronts that significantly influenced the transport and fate of Deepwater Horizon oil. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts C-IMAGE Releases Aerial Video of OneGulf Expedition 3771

Researchers from the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE, a GoMRI funded center) studied fish and seafloor sediments across the southern, western and northern Gulf of Mexico. Their goals were to understand the lasting impacts of oil spills and to develop baseline levels in Gulf waters. This aerial footage shows a Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on behaviors of fishers in Gulf of Mexico (Saul) 3761

The Avoiding Surprises: understanding the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the decision making behaviors of fishers and how this affects the assessment and management of commercially important fish species in the Gulf of Mexico using an agent-base project is lead by Steven Saul, Arizona State University. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill disrupted Read More

GoMRI Students How Grad Student Cui Uses River Diversion Models to Inform Oil Spill Remediation 3831a

When oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill began approaching land, one proposed response was to divert Mississippi River water and sediment into the marshes to try and push surface oil more towards the Louisiana-Texas shelf. Linlin Cui is investigating the impacts of Mississippi River diversions on Barataria Bay hydrodynamics to help inform how future oil Read More

Fact SheetsMaterialsOutreachTeachers and Students ACER Launches Fact Sheets Series 3801

The ACER fact sheet series focuses on the goals and emerging research of the consortium and will consist of 15 total fact sheets, with two fact sheets per each of the seven ACER research groups discussing their research and publications. The first sheet, Introducing ACER, shares the importance of diversity and resilience to the consortium’s research. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Unraveling the Biotic and Abiotic Chemical Evolution of Macondo Oil (Rodgers) 3797

The The State-of-the-Art Unraveling of the Biotic and Abiotic Chemical Evolution of Macondo Oil: 2010-2018 project is lead by Ryan P. Rodgers, Florida State University. Once released into the environment, petroleum undergoes physical processes that modify its native composition (water washing and evaporative losses) and chemical processes (largely oxidative, i.e. photo-oxidation and biodegradation) that we Read More

GoMRI Students How Grad Student Seubert Interprets Gulf of Mexico Resiliency Using Predator Diet 3820a

Major environmental disturbances such as oil spills can alter a marine ecosystem’s structure and even cause species losses or additions in impacted areas – changes which may have long-term consequences for an ecosystem’s functions. Emily Seubert investigates the diets of marine predators in the northern Gulf of Mexico food web to better understand how the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Reproductive Failure in Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Recovery of Cetaceans (Smith) 3790

Concern about how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may continue to negatively affect wild bottlenose dolphins living in the spill’s footprint remains high. Researchers supporting the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) studied live and stranded dolphins in the heavily affected area of Louisiana’s Barataria Bay and reported that exposed dolphins exhibited increased lung disease, adrenal Read More

GoMRI ScientistsOutreachVideo and Podcasts DEEPEND’s Tamara Frank Discusses Research and Struggles Entering Marine Biology Field 3787

Frank works with the consortium’s crustacean team studying creatures such as crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and krill. She speaks about her research and shares why getting a job as an aspiring female scientist was very challenging.

GoMRI Scientists Rita Colwell Honored with International Award for Tropical Medicine Research 3811

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) congratulates Dr. Rita Colwell for receiving the 2015 Mahathir Science Award. The international award, given annually by the Mahathir Science Award Foundation and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, recognizes scientists who have pioneered tropical research breakthroughs. Colwell was honored for groundbreaking research, innovation, and scientific leadership in the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsOutreachVideo and Podcasts Watch: DROPPS Researcher Delivers Televised Talk on Oil Degradation 3783

In April 20, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico had its greatest mishap in record time with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wherein an estimated 1,000 barrels of oil (peaking at more 60,000 barrels) per day were released into the Gulf for 87 days, for a total of 3.19 million barrels for the entire duration. The Read More

GoMRI Students GoMRI RFP-V: Genomic Responses to Deepwater Horizon and high-throughput biological assays (Thomas) 3775

The Genomic Responses to the Deepwater Horizon event and development of high-throughput biological assays for oil spills project is lead by W. Kelley Thomas, University of New Hampshire. Within the GoM, the benthic environment is biologically hyper-diverse, performing critical ecosystem functions that have consequences for the ecology of the entire GoM region. Benthic communities are Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Pasparakis Looks to Fish Embryos for Long-Term Oil Spill Answers 3739a

Studies that investigate the effects of oil exposure on developing fish are typically conducted at otherwise non-stressful ambient conditions, which may result in conservative impact estimates. Christina Pasparakis is studying the combined effects of oil exposure and other environmental stressors to create a more comprehensive assessment of Deepwater Horizon impacts. Christina is a marine science Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Fiore Investigates Oil Spill Impacts on Gulf Economy and Fisheries Resiliency 3719a

Natural and manmade disasters often involve long-term effects, but the majority of follow-up research tends to focus on the biophysical impacts rather than the social. Jacqueline Fiore, a Louisiana resident, understands how disasters such as hurricanes and oil spills can impact local industries, citizens, and ecosystems. Jacqueline, a Ph.D. student in Tulane University’s Economic Analysis Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories OneGulf Voyage Gathers Unprecedented Marine Samples for Two Oil Spills 3699a

An international science team recently completed a 4,000-mile expedition to learn more about the long-term fate of two of the world’s largest subsea oil spills, the 1979 Ixtoc-I and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon. The 40-day Gulf of Mexico voyage continued their 2015 field campaign, contributing to a multi-year Gulf-wide analysis of these oil spills and Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories GoMRI RFP-V: Wetland plant-microbial-benthic ecosystem responses & mitigation strategy (Lin) Researcher Qianxin Lin

The Long-Term Impact, Recovery and Resilience: Wetland plant-microbial-benthic ecosystem responses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and mitigation strategies promoting sustainability by P.I. Qianxin Lin, Louisiana State University The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill exposed the nation’s largest and most productive wetland estuarine environment, the Mississippi River Delta coastal wetland ecosystem, to an unprecedented potential Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Can Bacteria Living in Plant Tissues Help Clean Up Oiled Marshes? Postdoc Brittany Bernik strains marsh mud through a screen to prepare it for greenhouse experiments at Tulane University. (Photo by Sunshine Van Bael)

Living inside the roots and leaf tissues of marsh grass are bacteria and fungi known as endophytes that help promote plant growth. Since some endophytes can also help degrade petroleum that the plants absorb, it is possible they could be a natural tool to help clean up oil buried in marsh soils. The Gulf of Read More

Teachers and Students Science at the Stadium Scores Big with Game-Day Attendees Graduate student Fanny Girard (left) joins game-day fans at the ECOGIG-II Ocean Discovery Zone. The coral banner makes a beautiful photo backdrop! (Photo by ECOGIG-II)

Scientists and education staff have tapped into a novel venue – football games – to reach new audiences and share ongoing research and ocean technology. The research consortium Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf II (ECOGIG II), funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), took their mobile Ocean Discovery Read More

Teachers and Students Join the 2017 NOAA Teacher-at-Sea Program Teacher-at-Sea 2017

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Education and Engagement Team is pleased to announce NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program will accept applications for 2017 starting in November. Applications and references are accepted only through an online application system from November 1 – 30, 2016. The application closes at 5:00 pm ET on November 30. Until then, interested applicants should: 1. Visit Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students C-IMAGE Releases One Gulf Expedition Photos and Videos One Gulf Expedition - C-IMAGE

C-IMAGE Releases One Gulf Expedition Photos and Videos From 2 Aug-10 Sept, 20 researchers from the C-IMAGE Consortium circumnavigated the Gulf of Mexico studying fish toxicity between 20-180 fathoms (36-330m). The science crew caught 2,442 fish through 69 demersal long-lining stations. Over 600 photos documenting the expedition’s equipment, crew, and research activities are now available Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories GoMRI RFP-V: Oil Spill Transport in a Coupled Wind-Wave Current Environment (Drennan) Researcher William Drennan

The Investigation of Oil Spill Transport in a Coupled Wind-Wave Current Environment Using Simulation and Laboratory Studies project is lead by P.I. William M. Drennan, University of Miami. This project aims at studying the transport of oil droplets in upper oceans subject to actions of Langmuir cells and breaking waves and the transport of oiled Read More

Teachers and Students Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program Seminar seminar

Sept 27, Long Beach, MS: Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program Seminar   Titled Building resilient communities: Lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this seminar will identify traits that made communities more resilient after the oil spill, discuss programs and resources available to communities, and share lessons learned in overcoming disasters and identify ways Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Max Weber Fishes for Insight into Deep-Pelagic Fish Taxonomy Max removes tissue from a fish for future genetic analysis aboard the RV Point Sur. (Provided by Max Weber)

There are hundreds of deep-pelagic fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, but we know very little about their taxonomy, diversity, and population sizes. Max Weber plans to catch fifteen individual specimens of each of the 500 known deep-sea Gulf fish species to help us better understand these organisms and how the Deepwater Horizon oil Read More

GoMRI Students ACER Grad Student Presents Research at 2016 AES Meeting Emily Seubert’s presentation at the American Elasmobranch Society

Emily Seubert’s presentation at the American Elasmobranch Society meeting focused on her hypothesis that the species and functional diversity of apex and mesopredators can impact an ecosystem’s resiliency following a natural disaster. Emily has also been collecting tissue samples from her catch for stable isotope analysis, which will give insight to the short term and Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Exquisite Mud: A History Book of the Gulf of Mexico (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

A team of researchers from the University of South Florida uses a multi-corer to obtain deep sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico. Back in the lab, they analyze the layers of sediment and build a history of the Gulf, with Deepwater Horizon being the latest chapter. Featuring oceanographers David Hollander, Isabel Romero, and Patrick Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories GoMRI RFP-V: Synergistic Dispersant & Herding Systems using Tubular Clay & Gel Phase (John) Researcher John Vjay

The Design of Synergistic Dispersant and Herding Systems using Tubular Clay Structures and Gel Phase Materials project is lead by P.I. Vijay John, Tulane University. Dispersants are typically solutions containing one or more surfactants dissolved in a solvent. They work by reducing the interfacial tension between oil and water, thereby reducing the work needed to Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Improving How Oil Spill Models Predict Plume Dispersion and Transport A Large Eddy Simulation of oil droplet (color contours) and gas bubble (white lines) plumes emerging from 1500 m below the surface into a stratified ocean, including 3D Coriolis force and west-to-east current effects. (Simulation performed by Dr. Di Yang, University of Houston)

Deep ocean oil plumes that formed from the Deepwater Horizon spill and their subsequent rise through the water column were greatly influenced by physical mixing mechanisms such as turbulence, Langmuir circulations, and sub-mesoscale eddies. These mixing processes are crucial variables needed for existing models to accurately predict a plume’s overall size, shape, and transport direction. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts The CSI Effect: Using Forensics to Study Oil Spills (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

Coupling the “crime scene” forensic idea with the idiom of geology creates the following premise: “the present is the key to the past, but the past provides a window into the future.” Researchers are using chemical forensics to predict how the Deepwater Horizon Event will transpire over the decades to come. Featuring David Hollander (University Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and StudentsVideo and Podcasts Dispatches From the Gulf – 50 Short Videos Dispatches From the Gulf

“Dispatches from the Gulf” is a multi-media initiative that investigates the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico six years after the Deepwater Horizon blowout on April 20, 2010. That’s when the world’s ninth largest body of water became a place where thousands of communities and millions of citizens were put in jeopardy by a Read More

Lesson PlansTeachers and Students DEEPEND Blog Introduces Kids to Bioacoustics 24 hr Vertical Migration Pattern of the Deep Scattering Layer in N. Gulf of Mexico

Another one of the key components to the DEEPEND research is the collection of sound data! It’s called bio-acoustics and it’s another form of taking data that turns sounds into pictures for us to see! Ben, from Florida International University, was on the last cruise working the acoustics and was able to use the data Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories GoMRI RFP-V: Biodegradation & ecosystem recovery in coastal marine sediments (Huettel) Researcher Markus Huettel

Markus Huettel gives an overview of the project at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference January 2016 The A systems approach to improve predictions of biodegradation and ecosystem recovery in coastal marine sediments impacted by oil spill project is lead by P.I. Markus Huettel, Florida State University. After coastal oil spills, Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Sun Uses Sun Glint to Assess Oil Spills  Shaojie presents his research on sun glint requirements for oil film detection at the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Conference in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Chuanmin Hu)

Those who have ever photographed the ocean on a sunny day have likely noticed how the reflected sunlight made the water gleam, often distorting the image. Shaojie Sun has quantified this phenomenon, called “sun glint,” to help address a longstanding limitation in scientists’ ability to assess oil seeps and spills using satellite imagery. Shaojie is Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Boyette Maps Plankton to Better Understand the Nearshore Environment Adam Boyette retrieves a glider on the deck of the R/V Point Sur, where he served as chief scientist on the three-day cruise examining the impacts of the Bonnet Carré spillway opening. (Photo by Alison Deary)

Microscopic organisms called plankton, an important component of the marine food web, congregate in the freshwater-laden coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Adam Boyette wants to learn more about how and where these plankton live to better understand how an oil spill or other disaster might impact their populations. He is collaborating with Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Meet Nancy Rabalais: Focusing on Coastal Ecosystems Dispatches_Logo

Professor Nancy Rabalais (LUMCON) and her team focus their research on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on coastal ecosystems – particularly the Louisiana wetlands and marshes. The creators of award-winning environmental series Journey to Planet Earth (hosted by Matt Damon) present Dispatches from the Gulf – an upcoming documentary film and educational Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students Fostering a love of learning – CARTHE Outreach colorful drift cards

CARTHE teamed up with Project Give Kids (PGkids) to expose a bright group of foster kids, ranging in age from 1st grade to high school, to the amazing world of marine science. The students started the day with CARTHE outreach manager, Laura Bracken, who taught them about ocean currents and enlisted their help in painting drift cards Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Bringing Marine Snow to the Oil Transport Forecast A photograph of oil-marine snow aggregates at the water’s surface in the Gulf of Mexico, May 2011. (Photo by Andrew Warren)

Evidence suggests that when oil interacts with particles in the marine environment, it can form larger, rapidly sinking particles called marine snow. These oily aggregates are often transported from the sea surface to the seafloor. The snow falls more like a heavy blizzard than a light flurry for large discharges such as the Deepwater Horizon Read More

GoMRI Students CWC Releases 2016 LEAD Camp Photos 2016 LEAD Camp Participants and collected periwinkle snails. (Photo Credits: CWC)

LEAD Camp 2016 Highlights on Facebook… The science-based discovery camp provided campers with knowledge about and experience with Louisiana’s coastal and marine environments through hands-on field and lab work conducted alongside actual researchers, such as this project measuring and labeling periwinkle snails.

GoMRI StudentsStudent Activities ECOGIG Researchers Host STEMSEAS Students 2016 STEM SEAS students in front of the R/V Endeavor, the night before they left on their transit. Welcome aboard! Photo courtesy of STEM SEAS.

Ten undergraduate students and two faculty with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships (STEMSEAS)program joined the R/V Endeavor’s journey from Moorhead, NC, to Gulfport, MS, to learn more about the consortium and oceanographic research. The students will blog from the ship about their experiences. The STEMSEAS Facebook page will be very active during the Read More

GoMRI StudentsPublication Highlights Study Compares Natural Sunlight Effects on Macondo and Surrogate Oil University of West Florida Associate Professor in Chemistry, Pam Vaughan (far right), mentors undergraduate students Cynthia McCord and Michelle Waters in determining photochemical degradation and relative toxicity of MC252 and Surrogate oil water accommodated fractions. (Photo credit: Michael Spooneybarger)

Scientists developed the first molecular-level comparison of photochemical effects on surrogate and Macondo (MC252) oil to better understand this weathering process and the toxicity mechanisms it produces. The team observed increased nitrogen in surrogate oil’s response to sunlight and oxidation across a wider range of carbon numbers than MC252. Solar exposure inhibited microbial production in Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Investigating How Complex Deepwater Topography Influences Oil Dispersion 3207a

    The active environment of the Gulf of Mexico’s continental slope contains diverse currents that are difficult to simulate and predict. We know that turbulence is an essential mechanism for hydrocarbon transport and subsurface oil plume dispersion, but we still have much to learn about the complex processes behind this area’s diverse currents. The Read More

GoMRI Students Get to Know Simeon Pesch: C-IMAGE II’s July 2016 Student of the Month Simeon Pech C-IMAGE Student

The behavior and mechanics of deep sea plumes is been studied using samples of liquid oil, “dead oil,” expelled from nozzles to view turbulence in the plume and estimate how the droplets distribute in sub-surface and surface plumes. But how does a mixture of oil and gases, like methane and known as “live oil,” change droplet Read More

GoMRI Students Meet Cameron and Oscar, two undergrads that have been working with ADDOMEx Undergrads at work

Cameron Jackson, a sophomore, is studying marine biology Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) and Oscar Agueda is a senior who will be getting his degree in marine science (TAMUG); both students are minoring in chemistry. When asked about career aspirations they stated that they hoped to go on to graduate school. “I want to Read More

Fact SheetsGoMRI Scientists Meet CWC Outreach Member Ann Hayward Walker Ann Hayward Walker

Ann Hayward Walker coordinates outreach between the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) scientists and spill-affected communities to help integrate scientific findings into response decisions. Her efforts have included leading two multi-disciplinary oil spill and dispersant risk communication research projects. See below link to learn more about her background, goals, and the challenges and rewards of communicating Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts It Got Complicated (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

Professor Will Patterson and Oceanographer Joe Tarnecki – both with Dauphin Island Sea Lab – use an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to measure the impact of oil and dispersants on reef habitats. They’ve been studying the northern Gulf of Mexico for the last decade, so they have an abundance of data from the pre-spill environment. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Identifying Effective, Food-Grade Dispersants for the Future 3207

Oil spill responders currently have the option to treat oil spills with a synthetic dispersant called Corexit, however scientists continue to search for alternatives. In this search, scientists seek to develop an understanding of the specific mechanisms that drive dispersion and identify an effective combination of food-grade components. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Read More

GoMRI StudentsPublication Highlights Study Examines Sediment East of Deepwater Horizon for Oil-Associated Marine Snow  Eckerd College students transferring a multicore from a collection barrel to a working barrel aboard the R/V Weatherbird II, June 2011. (Photo provided by Gregg Brooks)

Scientists analyzed sea floor sediment in the Gulf of Mexico’s DeSoto Canyon region to investigate potential oil spill impacts. Evidence from sedimentological, geochronological, geochemical, and biological sources pointed to a rapid, 4-5 month sedimentation event in late 2010. The sediment’s top centimeter was distinct from underlying compositions, with deposited particles originating from the sea surface. Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students CARTHE and DROPPS Scientists Team Up for UT Summer Science Program 3163

DROPPS Consortium had another successful collaboration with CARTHE for the UT Summer Science program! We taught 3rd-4th graders about how oil spill scientists sometimes use drift cards to study oil spills to see where currents may carry the oil. Then they designed their own scientific drift cards and tossed them off the UT Pier! Stay Read More

GoMRI Students Meet C-IMAGE Student of the Month Marcia Trillo 3146

Our Near-field and far-field modeling group is working to recreate oil spills under varying conditions. Applying strong currents and adding dispersants which changes droplet sizes in computer models can make predicting their eventual fate easier. Marcia Trillo, a M.S. student studying in Dr. Claire Paris’ lab, is helping answer questions about oi-water interactions. Marcia is the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsTeachers and Students CONCORDE’s Mission to Mentor Young Scientists Apparent in Spring Campaign and Beyond 3141

Two postdocs, Ali Deary and Adam Greer, took turns as Chief Scientist aboard the R/V Point Sur during the recent Spring Campaign, while three others—Kemal Cambazoglu, Sabrina Parra, and Inia Soto-Ramos—devised the cruise plan for the R/V Pelican. Earlier in the year PhD student Adam Boyette organized and led a research cruise to study the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Digging Up the Mechanisms of Buried Oil Degradation 3114a

Spilled oil buried in nearshore sediment can persist for many years and act as a long-term source of episodic hydrocarbon contamination in the environment. Although we have a basic understanding of how fast crude oil degrades in soils, we still do not fully understand what influences the degradation process or the microbial community responsible for Read More

GoMRI Scientists Arezoo Ardekani Receives PECASE 3124a

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative congratulates one of its own – Dr. Arezoo Motavalizadeh Ardekani, an assistant professor at Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering – for receiving the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Ardekani, a co-principal investigator with the RFP-V project Role of Microbial Motility for Degradation of Read More

Teachers and Students Teacher-At-Sea Chronicles DEEPEND Cruise 3086

Christia Hewlett was the official Teacher-At-Sea during the consortium’s most recent research cruise. She documented the equipment, experiences, and even the researchers on board for the DEEPEND blog. You can find all of her posts about the cruise here. “I hope that I will be able to take back what I have learned and share Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Tang Studies Whale Populations’ Oil Spill Recovery 3019a

When disaster strikes, responders look at how creatures in its path may be impacted to mitigate damage. Tingting Tang takes the process one step further, using mathematical models to predict how long recovery may take. The creatures that Tingting focuses on are some of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest predators and most charismatic animals, beaked Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Unraveling the Mystery of Oil Compounds, Weathering, and Toxicity 3071a

Responders to the Deepwater Horizon spill used large quantities of dispersant to facilitate oil biodegradation, but could a different method be safer for the environment? Oil compounds take on additional oxygen atoms as physical and chemical processes weather them. However, the classical methods that scientists use to analyze and describe these molecular compositional changes cannot Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Using Luminescent Radiation to Describe “Forgotten” PAHs 3049a

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with high molecular weights (HMW-PAHs) are potentially toxic compounds that can cause genetic mutations. However, current environmental monitoring and analyses of human health risks only focus on the sixteen PAHs that the Environmental Protection Agency considers priority pollutants. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative awarded Dr. Andres D. Campiglia a grant to Read More

GoMRI Scientists Meet the Scientists of the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC-I and CWC-II) CWC small logo

The first three years of Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC-I) began September 2011 and ended December 2015. The second three years of Costal Waters Consortium (CWC-II) began January 1, 2015 and extends until the end of December 2017. Meet some of the many researchers up-close and personal in the following links: CWC-I Scientist Spotlights CWC-II Scients Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Jaggi Seeks Solution to World’s Clean Water Shortage 3031a

As a child in India, Aprami Jaggi witnessed firsthand how polluted water sources impact society. Her desire to make water remediation her life’s work has led her from Delhi to Calgary, Canada, to study oil mitigation. There she combines geochemistry and geophysics to hunt for scientific answers and practical solutions to the worldwide water pollution Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Now Available: Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment Reports 3027

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce the release of two reports detailing the results of the Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE). The first report, the Summary of Results from the 2014/2015 Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE), provides an overview of all test results involved in the experiment. The second report, the2014/2015 Hydrocarbon Read More

GoMRI Scientists Franklin Institute in Philidelphia, PA hosted a Pixar themed “Science After Hours” event on May 23rd, in celebration of the upcoming movie “Finding Dory.” Dr. Erik Cordes and his wife, Brooke Cordes, at the Science After Hours event (Image provided by ECOGIG)

The Franklin Institute in Philidelphia, PA hosted a Pixar themed “Science After Hours” event on May 23, 2016, in celebration of the upcoming movie “Finding Dory.” Dr. Erik Cordes, one of ECOGIG’s deep sea coral experts, participated in the hands on event for the 21 and over crowd. The Science After Hours program is an Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Assessing Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Impacts on Families and Children 3006

Immediately following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveyed households in highly-affected Louisiana areas to track the event’s health and social impacts. Follow up studies in 2014 revealed that physical and mental distress resulting from the spill still persisted, with over 15% of respondents reporting no perceived recovery of their Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Robinson Follows Little Blue Crabs for Bigger Food Web Picture 2978f

Elizabeth Robinson studies blue crab’s role in the northern Gulf of Mexico food web, looking closely at how Deepwater Horizon oil might have affected the natural predator-prey balance. Many people who hear the phrase ‘marine life’ typically think first about big ocean animals like whales and dolphins. Elizabeth explained why smaller marine animals – like Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Using Acoustics to Monitor Oil and Gas from Deep Natural Seafloor Seeps 2784a

There is a lot of action at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. A turbulent mixed layer of water and sediment particles known as the bottom boundary layer circulates counterclockwise across the seafloor, flowing against the water above. Meanwhile, oil and gas naturally seep into this active environment from the seafloor. Scientists are investigating Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories LASER Focus Advances Knowledge of How Gulf of Mexico Water Moves 2758a_sm

CARTHE conducts unprecedented experiment to improve oil fate models. Predictions for decisions – our world relies on them, from daily weather to annual financial forecasts. Predictions, though, are only as good as the information that goes into making them. And those predictions carry even more weight when they involve human safety in situations like storm Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories What Can Horse Flies Tell Us About Marsh Health? 2718a

Greenhead horse fly larvae live in Spartina marshes and are the top predator in the coastal wetlands invertebrate food chain between Texas and Nova Scotia. Drs. Lane Foil and Claudia Husseneder discovered reduced genetic variation and severe declines in adult and larval horse fly populations living in oiled marshes, which showed that the horse flies Read More

Teachers and Students DEEPEND Researcher Brings the Deep Sea to High School Classroom 2687a

Mike Novotny recently visited an environmental science class at Sheridan Technical High School to talk about the world’s largest biome, the deep sea. He explained the challenges, organisms, and adaptations of the deep sea’s unique ecosystems and passed around specimens of strange deep-sea creatures. Click for more information….

Citizen Science CONCORDE Teaches Research Techniques to Local Fishers 2681a

Consortium representatives recently partnered with the Mississippi Coalition of Vietnamese American Fisherfolk and Families to teach Mississippi Coast fishermen how they can measure temperature and salinity with depth. The fishermen will use their vessels to collect data as part of CONCORDE’S Spring Research Campaign.     Click for more information….

Teachers and Students Get to Know C-IMAGE Student of the Month Adriana Gaytán-Caballero 2673a

Adriana Gaytán-Caballero studies the natural hydrocarbon seepages on the Campeche knolls as a graduate student at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Special note:  This story is presented in both Spanish and English. Learn more about Andriana’s research and growth as a scientist here. “Working with C-IMAGE II cruise team was an excellent experience and opportunity to Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Timm Tracks Crustacean’s Oil Spill Recovery 2657a

Laura Timm examines connections among shellfish ecology and evolution to help scientists understand how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected certain Gulf of Mexico species: “My work focuses on establishing pre-spill baselines and comparing them to samples taken 3-7 years after the oil spill, providing a timeline of crustacean recovery.” Pursuing a Ph.D. in biology Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts What inspired these people to become scientists? Why Science

What inspired these people to become scientists? Everyone has a different path. What led to your interest in science? Share you thoughts at: “Dispatches from the Gulf” is a new Journey to Planet Earth episode showing how scientists confront the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The documentary also investigates the impact of the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Meet Steve Murawski Meet Steve Murawski

Meet Steve Murawski, researcher with C-IMAGE and the University of South Florida, uses longline fishing to sample fish communities and track their recovery post-Deepwater Horizon event. “Dispatches from the Gulf” is a new Journey to Planet Earth episode showing how scientists confront the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The documentary also investigates the Read More

Citizen Science ECOGIG Inspires Future Oceanographers! 2621

The Spring Boy Scouts Advance-A-Rama (AAR) program has been conducted for over 25 years by volunteers from the Northeast Georgia Council’s Cherokee District. The AAR is hosted by the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. In recent years, over 200 scouts from troops in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Read More

GoMRI Scientists A Day in the Life of a DROPPSter drops logo

New DROPPS Researchers at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute The New Year brings new talent to the Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS) consortia! Since last fall, DROPPS has added three new post-doctoral researchers and one PhD student to the team at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI). Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Rogers Traces Gulf Oil as Scientific CSI 2573a

  Kelsey Rogers looks for evidence of oil and methane intrusion into Gulf of Mexico water and sediment, but finding these hydrocarbons is only the beginning of her work. Like a scientific crime scene investigator, Kelsey analyzes the chemical fingerprints of oil and gas and uses them to identify their source, such as from an Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Creating Improved Dispersants and Delivery Systems for Oil Spill Mitigation 2592a300

Research about commercial dispersant safety has seen increased efforts to identify benign alternatives and improve current dispersant systems since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Preliminary research suggests that dispersants formulated as gels may be a viable alternative to liquid dispersants and may address certain problems and concerns about Corexit 9500 use and application. The Gulf Read More

Citizen ScienceStudent Activities Sharing Oil Spill Science with Non-Scientists: Effectively Communicating Complex Research Results through Outreach and Education Programs Outreach_Workshop_GOMOSES_300

The four Sea Grant Programs in the Gulf of Mexico region, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership jointly co-hosted an outreach workshop at the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science conference on February 1 in Tampa, FL called Sharing Oil Spill Science with Non-Scientists: Effectively Communicating Read More

Citizen Science CONCORDE Begins Fisher Outreach Program during Fall Campaign Heather Dippold (left- CONCORDE Education & Outreach) meets with Peter Nguyen ( right close- Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center) and Captain Nguyen (far right) to discuss data collection and the community meeting. Photo credit: Jessica Kastler

While CONCORDE researchers sampled the northern Gulf to determine the paths and impacts of river outflow, a pair of citizen scientists, also commercial fishers, assisted from their own vessels. Hoang Nguyen Van of D’Iberville, Mississippi, and George Barisich of Ycloskey, Louisiana—Captain Nguyen and Captain George—took readings during the Fall Campaign as a carefully planned part Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Pinales Designs “Smart” Oil-Spill Detection Tool 2534_a

Juan Pinales is working on a computational modelling system that will aid oil spill monitoring efforts. He combines Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and oceanographic conditions recorded during theDeepwater Horizon incident to improve surface oil detection using a semi-automated machine learning method known as artificial neural networking. This method will help the system’s computations “learn” Read More

GoMRI Scientists CARTHE Blogs Document Researchers’ At-Sea Lifestyle 2427

Graduate student Nathan Laxague’s recent posts to the CARTHE blog describe the methods, experiences, and challenges of researchers working on the ongoing LASER expedition. You can read his entries here and here to keep up with the project’s development.   Excerpt from the CARTHE Blog….  “… Walton Smith is somewhere off the middle Keys, dressed to the nines with fancy Read More

Teachers and Students RECOVER Attends Surfrider Conference 2401

RECOVER Researchers recently attended the Surfrider Foundation’s 2015 Florida State Conference to discuss their research and answer questions about the post-spill fate of mahi-mahi and red drum. The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit that aims to protect the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. For more information….  

Teachers and Students CONCORDE to Host Spring Teacher Workshop 2393a

Workshop Details Date: March 12, 2016 Time: 8:30 – 4:30 p.m. Additional Info: This event will take place at USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, MS. The upcoming March 12th workshop will allow teachers to learn more about oil spill research’s current findings, interact with a consortium researcher, and develop future lesson plans focusing on Deepwater Read More

Teachers and Students ACER Engages Local Teachers to Reach K-12 Students 2371

The Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) Teacher Advisory Group is a team of local science teachers who will work with the consortium’s Educational Team to increase students’ interest in and understanding of the northern Gulf of Mexico. More Information…. http://acer.disl.org/news/2016/02/02/working-with-the-experts/ The goals of ACER’s Education Team include communicating the importance of the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Read More

Citizen ScienceTeachers and Students CWC Announces “Connecting to the Marsh through Art” Workshop 2363b

RECONNECT WITH THE COAST WHAT: Gulf Lagniappe Workshop – Connecting to the marsh through art WHEN: FEBRUARY 27th 9am-2pm WHERE: LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center WHO: Adults 18 years and older COST: $20/person – – lunch and art supplies are provided This one day workshop is for anyone that has an interest in learning more about Read More

Teachers and Students RECOVER Hosts Swim Performance and Behavior Course 2439

The short hands-on course offered American and Canadian students first-hand experience working with leading experts and taught them how to measure fishes’ swim performance and behavior. Click for Facebook link to course images…

GoMRI Scientists Meet CWC Researcher Chuck Wall wall_2230

Chuck Wall has a B.A. in Biology and Environmental studies from Williams College, and a Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences from Stony Brook University. He studies the salt marsh habitat and the community of benthic organisms that live in the salt marsh, such as worms, snails, mussels, and small crustaceans. He is comparing marsh Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students DEEPEND Announces – Creep into the DEEPEND – Summer Camps deependlogo

The camps target Kindergarten to 6th grade students and will take place the summer of 2016 at museums and science centers across the country. Campers will meet DEEPEND researchers, engage in science-oriented crafts and games, and much more! Details on camp locations and registration are coming soon. Visit our Facebook page…