Smithsonian Highlights Research on Tiny Marine Organisms

Dispersed oil droplets bound to marine detritus and plankton collected in northern Gulf of Mexico waters during Deepwater Horizon (2010). (Photo courtesy of David Liittschwager)

Dispersed oil droplets bound to marine detritus and plankton collected in northern Gulf of Mexico waters during Deepwater Horizon (2010). (Photo courtesy of David Liittschwager)

The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal published an article that describes how scientists are using the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS) to photograph zooplankton organisms and gather information about salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and light levels. The detailed imagery that the ISIIS collects is helping researchers understand how incidents such as Deepwater Horizon may affect the microscopic organisms that live in the Gulf of Mexico’s dynamic coastal waters, where biomass and plankton are highly concentrated.

Read the article What the Big Picture Can Teach Us About Tiny Ocean Creatures featuring scientists Adam Greer and Luciano Chiaverano (University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the Consortium for Oil Spill Exposure Pathways in Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems or CONCORDE). They describe how biologic data is combined with physical oceanographic modeling to track zooplankton, make links to important fish species and coastal processes, and improve understanding of the shelf ecosystem.

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By Nilde Maggie Dannreuther. Contact maggied@ngi.msstate.edu with questions or comments.

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

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 https://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.

© Copyright 2010-2019 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – All Rights Reserved. Redistribution is encouraged with acknowledgement to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Please credit images and/or videos as done in each article. Questions? Contact web-content editor Nilde “Maggie” Dannreuther, Northern Gulf Institute, Mississippi State University (maggied@ngi.msstate.edu).