GoMRI Newsletter: Fall Issue 2018

Download Full Issue (PDF)

Above the Fold

“GoMRI Attends the 2018 Clean Gulf Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana”
Guest Frequently Asked Questions
Note from the Research Board Chair
Education Spotlight
GoMRI Researcher Interview with Dr. Nick Shay
GoMRI Synthesis and Legacy


Community Happenings

Science Corner

Published Science Highlights from the GoMRI Program

Study Describes Foodweb Dynamics of Predatory Deep-Sea Fishes in the Gulf of Mexico
T.M. Richards, E.E. Gipson, A. Cook, T.T. Sutton, R.J.D. Wells
ICES Journal of Marine Science, 2018, fsy074

Study Shows Oil Impacts in Deep-Sea Coral Colonies Seven Years After Deepwater Horizon
F. Girard, C.R. Fisher
Biological Conservation, 2018, Vol. 225, pgs. 117-127

Study Develops Numerical Model for Marine Oil Snow Aggregate Formation and Sinking
A.L. Dissanayake, A.B. Burd, K.L. Daly, S. Francis, U. Passow
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2018, Vol. 123(8), pgs. 5388-5405

Study Finds Benthic Foraminifera Recorded Deepwater Horizon Marine Oil Snow Event
P.T. Schwing, J.P. Chanton, I.C. Romero, D.J. Hollander, E.A. Goddard, G.R. Brooks, R.A. Larson
Environmental Pollution, 2018, Vol. 237, pgs. 424-429

Study Gives First Comprehensive Gulf-Wide Fish Surveys in U.S., Mexican, and Cuban Waters
S.A. Murawski, E.B. Peebles, A. Gracia, J.W. Tunnell Jr., M. Armenteros
Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, 2018, Vol. 10(3), pgs. 325-346

Study Is First to Examine How Oil and Gas Tumbling Inside Pipe Affects Released Oil Estimations
M.C. Boufadel, F. Gao, L. Zhao, T. Ozgokmen, R. Miller, T. King, B. Robinson, K.Lee, I. Leifer
Geophysical Research Letters, 2018, Vol. 45(5), pgs. 2396-2403

Study Shows Oil Exposure Not Likely to Reduce Fish’s Ability to Compensate for Hypoxia
Y.K. Pan, A.J. Khursigara, J.L. Johansen, A.J. Esbaugh
Chemosphere, 2018, Vol. 200, pgs. 143-150

Study Documents How Riverine Fronts Influence Oil Transport Pathways
Y. Androulidakis, V. Kourafalou, T. Ozgokmen, O. Garcia-Pineda, B. Lund, M. Le Henaff, C. Hu, B.K. Haus, G. Novelli, C. Guigand, H. Kang, L. Hole, J. Horstmann
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2018, Vol. 123(5), pgs. 3259-3285

Study Finds Sunlight Reduced Dispersant’s Effectiveness During Deepwater Horizon
C.P. Ward, C.J. Armstrong, R.N. Conmy, D.P. French-McCay, C.M. Reddy
Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 2018, Vol. 5(5), pgs. 226-231

Study Finds Hurricane Isaac Prolonged Oil Spill Impacts on Some Marsh Insects and Spiders
W. Bam, L.M. Hooper-Bui, R.M. Strecker, P.L. Adhikari, E.B. Overton
PLoS ONE, 2018, Vol. 13(6), e0199467

To see all GoMRI publications, please visit the GoMRI Publication Database

Video Clip of the Quarter

The Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs into the Gulf (ECOGIG) consortium has released a new video series in partnership with filmmaker and Sherman’s Lagoon creator Jim Toomey called The Adventures of Zack and Molly (the #DeepSeaDuo). The three-part series follows Zack and his new roommate Molly, a Dumbo Octopus, as they explore the deep ocean in the Gulf of Mexico. Throughout the series, Molly teaches Zack about her home, including the unique ecosystems that exist there and how they are being impacted by human activities. The videos are available through the ECOGIG website here, which also includes a learning guide for educators, the series’ trailer, and recent and upcoming film festival screening dates. The series has already won Best Animation (Jim Toomey) at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival and Award of Excellence: Nature/Environment/ Wildlife (Jim Toomey) at the Best Shorts Competition. Be sure to check it out!

The Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) was featured in an episode of Xploration Awesome Planet titled Threatened Places, which premiered on November 10, 2018. In the episode, host Philippe Cousteau Jr. (Jacques Cousteau’s grandson!) visits the Gulf of Mexico to learn how CARTHE scientists are studying ocean pollution transport and designing new equipment to better measure ocean currents. Xploration Awesome Planet is a part of Xploration Station, which also includes Xploration Earth 2050, Xploration Outer Space, Xploration Nature Knows Best, Xploration DIY Sci, and Xploration Animal Science. Xploration Station has been nominated for multiple Daytime Emmys, including twice for Xploration Awesome Planet for Best Travel/Adventure Series and Best Host: Philippe Cousteau Jr. Check out all episodes of Xploration Awesome Planet here and the episode highlighting CARTHE here. The episode is also available on Amazon Prime here.

Don’t forget to check out GoMRI’s YouTube Channel here

GoMRI Newsmakers

Dr. Christopher Reddy from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 Ambassador Award by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Dr. Reddy was a co-principal investigator with the Deepsea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (Deep-C) consortium, is a co-principal investigator with the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE), and is a co-principal investigator on the RFP-V project “The State-of-the-Art Unraveling of the Biotic and Abiotic Chemical Evolution of Macondo Oil: 2010-2018.” The Ambassador Award is given annually to scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of societal impact, service to the Earth and space community, scientific leadership, and promotion of talent and career pool. Dr. Reddy received his award during the Honors Tribute at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting in Washington, District of Columbia. GoMRI congratulates Dr. Reddy on receiving this award!

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach team, one of GoMRI’s external outreach partners, has been awarded the National Superior Outreach Programming Award by the Sea Grant Extension Assembly for their efforts to synthesize and disseminate oil spill science with target audiences. The team includes extension specialists Chris Hale (Texas Sea Grant), Emily Maung-Douglass (Louisiana Sea Grant), Monica Wilson (Florida Sea Grant), Larissa Graham (formerly Mississippi- Alabama Sea Grant Consortium), Missy Partyka (Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium), team communicator Tara Skelton (Mississippi- Alabama Sea Grant Consortium), team manager Steve Sempier (Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium), and principal investigator LaDon Swann (Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium). The Sea Grant Extension Assembly presents this award once every two years to “recognize outstanding success in outreach programming,” and it represents Sea Grant’s highest honor. The team received the award during a ceremony in Portland, Oregon in September 2018. The GoMRI community congratulates them on receiving this exceptional award and recognition. More information on the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Program can be found here and on page 2 of this issue.

GoMRI Scholars in Action

GoMRI recognizes the graduate students whose vital research contributes to improving understanding about the damage, response, and recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Candidates for the GoMRI Scholars program must be graduate students who have participated in a GoMRI-funded project for at least one year, whose research is primarily funded by GoMRI, and who are working on a dissertation or thesis based on GoMRI-funded science.

Learn more about the scholars’ research and career paths on the GoMRI website:

Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Smithsonian Ocean Portal recently released a new article in partnership with the Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) called How to Survive an Oil Spill: Oyster Edition. Approximately 8.3 million oysters died after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Both dispersant and the input of fresh water into the coastal areas, that was meant to keep the oil away from shore, contributed to the loss. The Ocean Portal article highlights research by ACER scientist Dr. Sean Powers, who is conducting experiments in the field and in his lab that are focused on understanding how salt, genetic diversity, and dispersant impact oyster health and their resiliency in the event of future oil spills. Check it out here.

Sea Grant

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach team recently released a new eight-page publication called Oysters and Oil Spills. The publication describes how oysters grow and reproduce in the ocean and discusses how oil spills may impact their populations. In particular, the publication summarizes the findings from many studies to understand if oil bioaccumulated in shellfish, including oysters, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These studies indicated that there was no evidence of bioaccumulation in shellfish and that they were safe to eat. The article concludes with information on oyster reef restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. All of the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program publications are available here.

As a part of their yearlong collaborative project with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program (GRP) and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach team hosted the first in a series of workshops to discuss “regional priority setting for health, social, and economic disruption from spills” from December 4-5, 2018 at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center in Houma, Louisiana. The goals of this kick-off workshop were to provide recommendations for public health protocols to be included in existing response and regulatory frameworks, identify pilot project ideas and research and outreach priorities, and identify resources available to address local and regional public health and disaster issues. A summary of the workshop is available here, and an overview of the workshop series, including a link to a pre-workshop report, is available here. For additional information on all of the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program seminars and workshops, please visit their website here.

GoMRI and MTS Release Special Issue of MTS Journal

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) and the Marine Technology Society (MTS) have partnered to produce a special issue of the Marine Technology Society Journal. The special issue was developed through an initial collaboration between the GoMRI and MTS communities at a TechSurge event in February 2018, called Advancing Oil Spill Technology: Beyond the Horizon. The goal of the TechSurge was to bring the two communities together to share research results and discuss how they could work together to be better prepared for future oil spill events; areas of focus included modeling and prediction, mitigation, technologies for detection, and ecosystem health. The TechSurge was featured in the winter 2018 issue of the GoMRI Quarterly Newsletter. Following the event, the MTS Journal announced a call for papers inviting the oil spill science community to submit abstracts to contribute to the special issue, which is also called Advancing Oil Spill Technology: Beyond the Horizon. Dana Yoerger, GoMRI Research Board member; Steve Murawski, Director of the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE); Sherryl Gilbert, C-IMAGE Program Coordinator; and Liesl Hotaling, Vice President of Education at the Marine Technology Society, served as guest editors. The special issue is available to Marine Technology Society members here.

“The Deepwater Horizon accident, tragic as it was, became a motivating force for technological innovation first to understand the facts and consequences of that accident, later to consider more widely the challenges of working at the frontiers of the marine oil and gas industries. The apparatus, techniques, and analyses described in this special issue of the Marine Technology Society Journal are but a taste of the many new innovations that will hopefully help prevent future deep oil and gas accidents and provide responders with more timely situational awareness of future accidents.”

Steve Murawski, Guest Editor and Director of the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE)

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