April 20, 2020 is the 10th anniversary of Deepwater Horizon, and scientists funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) have been studying the oil spill’s impacts since then and providing knowledge that will help us be better prepared for future spills.
Researchers examined the biological and physiological response of phytoplankton to oil and oil plus dispersant in laboratory experiments.
Scientists isolated bacteria from Gulf of Mexico surface waters and used them in microcosm experiments to identify those that simultaneously degrade oil and produce mucus-like materials (exopolymeric substances or EPS).
Scientists conducted mesocosm experiments to examine how oil and chemically-dispersed oil affect Gulf of Mexico phytoplankton. Exposure to oil alone did not impair phytoplankton growth or their photosynthesis ability, nor did it significantly change the community’s diversity.
Marine oil snow – JUNE 11, 2019 (From Bioengineer / June 11, 2019) UD’s Andrew Wozniak investigates consequences of Deepwater Horizon oil spill If you were able to stand on the bottom of the seafloor and look up, you would see flakes of falling organic material and biological debris cascading down the water column like…
Scientists conducted mesocosm experiments with natural microbial communities to compare oil emulsion and dispersion mechanisms by microbial secretions of exopolymeric substances, EPS, also known as gels, and Corexit, a dispersant.
The Gulf of Mexico Research initiative (GoMRI) congratulates Dr. Antonietta Quigg for her distinction of Regents Professor of Marine Biology and Oceanography at Texas A&M University.
Sharing science can be lots of fun, especially during events that have a light-hearted atmosphere where people gather for a good time. This past year, researchers and outreach staff from consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative participated in a variety of events to share ocean and marine science that’s being used to study the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Phytoplankton and bacteria in the northern Gulf of Mexico interact closely at the food web base and provide vital food and nutrients to marine life at higher trophic levels. During the Deepwater Horizon incident, these pervasive organisms played an important role in oil bioremediation before and after the application of chemical dispersants, which broke up surface slicks into smaller droplets and enhanced microbial degradation.
Researchers simulated the sinking of marine particle aggregates in oil-dispersant mixtures to assess how Corexit chemical dispersant affects specific biological processes involving marine oil snow formation. The team found that Corexit could significantly enhance or inhibit marine oil snow formation depending on application timing and location and interactions with other water column compounds, making its influence difficult to predict.