Graduate Students Recognized as GoMRI Scholars for Oil Spill Research

GoMRI Scholars in action: Elizabeth Robinson (CWC, top left); Conor Smith and Nathan Laxague (CARTHE, top right); Liana Vacarri (DROPPS, bottom left); and Susan Snyder (C-IMAGE, bottom right).

(Click to enlarge) GoMRI Scholars in action: Elizabeth Robinson (CWC, top left); Conor Smith and Nathan Laxague (CARTHE, top right); Liana Vacarri (DROPPS, bottom left); and Susan Snyder (C-IMAGE, bottom right).

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) announces their Scholars Program to recognize the graduate students whose vital research contribute to improve understanding about the damage, response, and recovery following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

One of the GoMRI Legacy Goals is to build intellectual capacity and improve fundamental understanding of the dynamics of petroleum pollution and related stressors for future events.

Research Board Chair Rita Colwell said that “the GoMRI Scholars Program is a very important honor which provides a unique recognition of and builds community for the next generation of ocean science professionals with particular emphasis in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Candidates for this program must be graduate students who have participated in a GoMRI-funded project for at least one year, whose work is primarily funded by GoMRI, and who are working on a dissertation or thesis based on GoMRI-funded science. On a semi-annual basis, the lead Principal Investigators of GoMRI-funded projects nominate students who meet these criteria.

Following confirmation, each scholar will receive a letter of congratulations declaring the title GoMRI Scholar along with a certificate from Dr. Colwell. In addition, special events of interest to GoMRI Scholars will be incorporated into the annual Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Sciences conference. GoMRI will collect information about these scholars and their careers and accomplishments for longitudinal studies and program impacts.

As of March 2014, Directors for the eight Research Consortia have selected 137 students as GoMRI Scholars. Directors for the nineteen Investigator Grants are in the process of selecting their scholars.

To view the names and affiliation of students who are designated as GoMRI Scholars, click on each consortium’s project roster link below:


The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit

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