Phytoplankton are active organic carbon producers and help drive the processes that move carbon from the ocean surface to the sea floor. Scientists are investigating impacts from the sudden large input of carbon from the Deepwater Horizon spill on this important biological cycle.
The Smithsonian Ocean Portal recently featured Uta Passow with the University of California Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute in their Women in Science series. Passow is a co-principal investigator on three research programs funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative – ECOGIG, ECOGIG II, and ADDOMEx – studying microbial responses to oil and oil-dispersant mixtures.
Read the Ocean Portal article to learn about Passow and her research to understand the effects of hydrocarbon influx on marine snow, phytoplankton, and the ocean’s carbon cycle.
For more information about Passow’s research, read these articles:
- Study Shows Oil Promoted Formation of a Different Kind of Marine Snow
- Study Explains Pathways for Oiled Marine Snow Formation
- Understanding Influences on Microbial Responses to Oil Spills
GoMRI and the Smithsonian have a partnership to enhance oil spill science content on the Ocean Portal website.