Natural seeps are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and help create a chemically unique habitat where microbial populations can flourish. Andy Montgomery is researching the relationship between marine microbes and ocean chemistry and how chemical shifts affect the role microorganisms play in biogeochemical cycling, a common pathway for chemicals and organic matter to move through the ocean.
Nikaela Flournoy’s scientific journey has always carried a societal tie, from her passion for research’s social relevance to her realizations about the relationship between society and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Though she is excited to see a greater emphasis on STEM in primary and secondary education, she hopes to help expand STEM awareness and curriculum to students from diverse educational and social backgrounds.
The deep-pelagic ecosystem was the largest habitat affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident, yet our limited knowledge about its fauna makes it difficult to compare their conditions before and after the spill. Researchers with the DEEPEND consortium are developing a quantitative, taxonomically comprehensive assessment of these deep-sea creatures to estimate their vulnerability and ability to recover from disturbances.
Researchers analyzed dissolved organic carbon from water column samples collected in five regions to establish baseline data about its relative persistence and cycling in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The team found that the Mississippi River exports large amounts of dissolved organic carbon with an anthropogenic 14C signature, which is removed and recycled offshore as the river plume moves offshore.
Grad Student Ziegler Compares Gulf and East Coast Ecosystems for Predicting Saltmarsh Food Web Responses to Disturbances
Major disturbances such as oil spills can significantly affect populations of vulnerable saltmarsh species, which may result in greater impacts to the overall saltmarsh food web. Shelby Ziegler believes that a better understanding of what saltmarsh predator-prey interactions look like today can help identify changes in the food web following disturbances in the future.
The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal published an article about the diverse deep sea species found in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon incident. The DEEPEND research consortium identified nearly 800 different species in Gulf waters, including 180 species not previously observed in the Gulf of Mexico region.
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Dr. Matthew Howard passed away unexpectedly on February 8, 2018. His work related to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was with data management at the program level (the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative or GRIIDC) and with the Gulf of Mexico Integrated Spill Response or GISR consortium.
The recent TechSurge: Advancing Oil Spill Research brought together the GoMRI and Marine Technology Society (MTS) communities to share research results and discuss how they might work together to better prepare for future oil spills.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative congratulates its Research Board member Dr. Peter G. Brewer on receiving the Award for International Scientific Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS).
Researchers analyzed the metabolic capability of three Gulf of Mexico fish species after being exposed to toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds. Florida pompano exhibited faster biotransformation rates for hydroxylated naphthalene and phenanthrene compounds than red drum and southern flounder.