GoMRI Newsletter: Spring Issue 2019

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Above the Fold

“C-IMAGE Leads the Publication of Two Books Focused on Oil Spills”
Guest Frequently Asked Questions
Note from the Research Board Chair
Education Spotlight
GoMRI Researcher Interview with Dr. Melanie Beazley
GoMRI Synthesis & Legacy







Community Happenings

Science Corner

Published Science Highlights from the GoMRI Program

Study Finds Passive Dosing Techniques May Simplify Oil Toxicity Tests
G. Bera, T. Parkerton, A. Redman, N.R. Turner, D.A. Renegar, J.L. Sericano, A.H. Knap
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2018, Vol. 37(11), pgs. 2810-2819

Study Explores How Five Surfactants Affect Oil Biodegradation
N.K. Dewangan, J.C. Conrad
Langmuir, 2018, Vol. 34(46), pgs. 14012-14021

Study Demonstrates How Natural Clay Particles Enhance Oil Dispersion and Biodegradation
M. Omarova, L.T. Swientoniewski, I.K.M. Tsengam, A. Panchal, T. Yu, D.A. Blake, Y.M. Lvov, D. Zhang, V. John
ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2018, Vol. 6(11), pgs. 14143-14153

Study Characterizes Ecosystem-Scale Methane Dynamics Following Deepwater Horizon
M.K. Rogener, A. Bracco, K.S. Hunter, M.A. Saxton, S.B. Joye
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 2018, Vol. 6(1), pg. 73

Study Shows How Copepods Can Change the Size Spectrum of Oil Droplets
M. Uttieri, A. Nihongi, P. Hinow, J. Motschman, H. Jiang, M. Alcaraz, J.R. Strickler
Scientific Reports, 2019, Vol. 9, Article Number: 547

Study Explains How Large Rotating Currents Near Cuba Influence the Gulf Stream
V. Kourafalou, Y. Androulidakis, M. Le Henaff, H. Kang
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2017, Vol. 122(10), pgs. 7897-7923

Study Finds Gel-like Biofilms May Be More Efficient at Oil Dispersal than Corexit
K.A. Schwehr, C. Xu, M. Chiu, S. Zhang, L. Sun, P. Lin, M. Beaver, C. Jackson, O. Agueda, C. Bergen, W. Chin, A. Quigg, P.H. Santschi
Marine Chemistry, 2018, Vol. 206, pgs. 84-92

Study Provides Insights into Indirect Effects on Food Webs from Oiled Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
C.W. Martin, E.M. Swenson
PLoS One, 2018, Vol. 13(12): e0208463

Study Creates Microcosm That Mimics Bacteria Encountering Rising Oil Droplets
M. Jalali, A.R. White, J. Marti, J. Sheng
Scientific Reports, 2018, Vol. 8, Article Number: 7612

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

Video Clip of the Quarter

Dr. David M. Karl, Victor and Peggy Brandstrom Pavel Professor of Microbial Oceanography and co-director of the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, presented a public lecture at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) headquarters in Washington, D.C. on April 10 called Station ALOHA: A Proving Ground for Microbial Oceanography. The lecture followed a joint colloquium between the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), the American Society for Microbiology, and AGU on Microbial Genomics of the Global Ocean System in support of Core Area 6 of GoMRI’s Synthesis and Legacy effort. The goal of the colloquium was to generate foundational ideas to advance marine microbiology and enhance understanding of microbial responses to major disturbances in the ocean. Over 30 of the world’s leading experts in microbial genomics and related fields participated to develop a broad research synthesis. The workshop leaders are preparing for a number of different synthesis products in addition to a workshop report, including publications in EOS and mBio. Dr. Karl is also currently co-director of the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE), a member and co-chair of the Ecosystem Ecology Section of The Faculty of 1000, a staff member at the Ecology Institute Inter-Research Science Center, and a recipient of the Alexander Agassiz Medal. His presentation shared a history of the field of microbial genomics and the discoveries made over the past 30 years at Station ALOHA (A Long-Term Oligotrophic Habitat Assessment), part of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program. Read more about the program here, and watch a recording of Dr. Karl’s lecture on AGU’s Facebook page here.

In recognition of the ninth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2019, Steve Murawski, director of the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE), and Ed Overton, co- principal investigator with the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) and of the RFP-V project Toxicological Properties of Specific Aromatic Hydrocarbons Isolated from Fresh and Aged Crude Oil from the Deepwater Horizon Spill, were interviewed as a part of Fox News’ Whatever Happened To…? series. They briefly summarized how Gulf fisheries and other marine life have recovered since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how much oil from the spill has been metabolized by the microorganisms in the Gulf. Watch the segment here.

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

GoMRI Newsmakers

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) Nelson Poynter Memorial Library is hosting an art exhibit featuring photographs captured by Dante Fenolio from the Deep Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico (DEEPEND) consortium, and artwork by three Tampa Bay artists commissioned by the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE) and the USF College of Marine Sciences, in remembrance of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. An opening reception for the exhibit, called Remember the Horizon: How USF Research Set a Standard After the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, was held on April 18 and included presentations by C-IMAGE Director Steve Murawski and researcher Bekka Larson, and DEEPEND co-principal investigators Heather Judkins and Isabel Romero. More information about the opening reception, including images of the artwork, is available on the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library Facebook page here, the USFSP Library Twitter page here, and the USF Twitter page here. Additional information on the photographs and artwork is available on the GoMRI website here.

Dr. Samantha “Mandy” Joye, Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences in the Franklin College of Art and Sciences Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia and principal investigator of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)-funded consortium Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf-2 (ECOGIG-2) has been named Regents’ Professor by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, effective July 1, 2019. Regents’ Professorships are bestowed on faculty members “whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pace-setting.” The GoMRI community congratulates Dr. Joye on this distinction and recognition of her many scientific contributions.

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:

Sea Grant

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach team hosted two additional workshops in their collaborative series in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) in recent months. Improving Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in Santa Barbara, which took place on April 5 in Santa Barbara, California, brought together practitioners and stakeholders to discuss social and economic impacts of oil spills and identify research needs to improve future oil spill response. They also reviewed challenges and lessons learned from the 2015 Refugio oil spill. Preparing for Oil Spills in the Eastern Gulf: Health, Economic Resilience, and Community Well-Being took place from May 6-7 in Mobile, Alabama, with an associated evening event on May 7 in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. The goal of this workshop was to identify the needs of the communities in the eastern Gulf in the event of future spills, including discussing potential research and outreach priorities, protocols to include in existing response and regulatory frameworks, and determining available resources to aid in community preparedness and resilience. These workshops concluded the year-long collaborative project between Sea Grant, the Gulf Research Program, and GoMRI. More information on the series is available here.

The team also hosted a Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program seminar, How Does Science Guide Oil Spill Response? Collaborating Before, During, and After a Spill, on April 24 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The goal of the workshop was to bring together members of the scientific and response communities to share research results, explain response processes and priorities, foster networking and communication, and build partnerships. The workshop included presentations from Timyn Rice from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute; Dale Walker and Eric Post from the United States Coast Guard; Paul Schuler from Oil Spill Response Limited; Isabel Romero from the University of South Florida; Abigail Renegar from Nova Southeastern University; Daniel Hahn from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration Assessment and Restoration Division; Peter Wenner from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Scott Zengel from Research Planning, Inc.; and Brad Benggio from NOAA. More information on all of Sea Grant’s seminars, including summaries from previous presentations, is available here.

The team released a new fact sheet titled Frequently Asked Questions: Dispersants Edition. The publication describes what dispersants are and what they do, when and where they are used, and what impacts they may have on marine life. It also shares how dispersant was used during the response efforts after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Read the publication here. All of Sea Grant’s publications are available here.

Ocean Portal

Smithsonian Ocean Portal released a new article in partnership with the Consortium for Oil Spill Exposure Pathways in Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE) called What the Big Picture Can Teach Us About Tiny Ocean Creatures. The article describes how CONCORDE researchers, including Adam Greer and Luciano Chiaverano, study zooplankton using an instrument called an In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS). The ISIIS is able to photograph all types of animals, such as zooplankton and jellyfish, including those that are more gelatinous and can be damaged during traditional collection methods. It can also record information about salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and light levels within the water column, enabling researchers to view the ecosystem more holistically. Learn more on the Ocean Portal website here.

Smithsonian Ocean Portal was recently nominated for a Webby Award! The Webbys are an international award, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, recognizing excellence on the internet. The Webbys are awarded to recipients in seven major media types, including websites; video; advertising, media, and PR; apps, mobile, and voice; social; podcasts; and games. Each media type includes several subcategories. Webby Award winners are selected by members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the public can vote on nominees to receive the Webby People’s Voice Award. The Ocean Portal was selected as one of the final five nominees in the website – general science category, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries website, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Solar System Web, the CRISPR-CAS9: Mechanism and Applications website, and the Yale Environment 360 website. NOAA Fisheries was selected as the winner of the Webby Award, and the NASA Solar System Web received the People’s Voice Award. Visit the Webby Awards website here to see all of this year’s winners. GoMRI congratulates the Ocean Portal team for receiving this nomination and recognition of their dedicated efforts!

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