Smithsonian Features Blog by Patrick Schwing on Benthic Forams

Postdoctoral researcher Patrick Schwing collects sediment cores in the Gulf of Mexico. (Picture by David Levin at Living on Earth)

(Click to enlarge) Postdoctoral researcher Patrick Schwing collects sediment cores in the Gulf of Mexico. (Picture by David Levin at Living on Earth)

The Smithsonian Ocean Portal posted a guest blog by Patrick Schwing about GoMRI-funded research. Schwing is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, and member of the C-IMAGE and Deep-C consortia.

His blog explains the importance of forams – tiny single-cell organisms that live in environments with little oxygen – in understanding impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Schwing is using his research to learn about human impacts on coastal and marine sedimentary depositional environments.

The Smithsonian blog begins: “You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics.” Read the entire Ocean Portal blog.

For background, read about C-IMAGE’s work that includes Schwing in Podcasts and Videos Share GoMRI Oil Spill Research with a Broader Audience. Schwing is shown collecting sediment cores in the overview story about GoMRI Advances Science Four Years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Schwing served as a research mentor for student interns and was featured in the Deep-C Voices from the Sea blog and in the C-IMAGE Adventures at Sea blog.


GoMRI and the Smithsonian have a partnership to enhance oil spill science content on the Ocean Portal website.

This research was made possible in part by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE) consortium and the Deepsea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (Deep-C) consortium. The 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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