University of Georgia Honors Samantha Joye with Regents Professor Award

Dr. Samantha “Mandy” Joye is the Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences and a Professor of Marine Sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia. Photo credit: University of Georgia

Dr. Samantha “Mandy” Joye is the Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences and a Professor of Marine Sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia. Photo credit: University of Georgia

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative congratulates Dr. Samantha “Mandy” Joye’s distinction as University of Georgia’s Regents Professor, effective 1 July 2019. Joye is currently the Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences and a Professor of Marine Sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The Regents Professor Award recognizes exceptionally distinguished faculty whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pace-setting.

Professor Joye is an internationally recognized marine scientist who studies the complex interplay between microbes and large-scale ecological ocean processes. Joye pioneered new methods of quantifying environmental factors such as microbial metabolism and geochemical signatures in extreme conditions, making numerous deep ocean dives in manned submersible and remotely operated vehicles. She was chief scientist on the second academic expedition in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (R/V Walton Smith late May 2010).

Joye has received 40 public and private research grants since 1997, and her research (170+ peer-reviewed publications and 14 book chapters) has been cited more than 10,000 times. Her current grants include funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the National Science Foundation, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Colleagues have high regard for Joye. Jeffrey Chanton (Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Research Professor and John Widmer Winchester Professor of Oceanography at Florida State University) said that her work is “transforming the way we think about the Gulf and its relationship to the myriad of hydrocarbon springs on its seafloor.” He noted Joye’s “heroic efforts to communicate science to the general public while mentoring the next generation of scientists.” Bess Ward (William J. Sinclair Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University) described Joye as “a force of nature, driven by insatiable curiosity and apparently endless energy.” She noted that Joye is a powerful role model, holding herself, her students, and colleagues to the highest standards of thoroughness, rigor, and integrity.

Joye spearheaded a multidisciplinary research team to determine Deepwater Horizon impacts on the Gulf of Mexico’s biome and enhance fundamental knowledge about natural and accidental oil and gas releases and the processes that determine their fate. Joye continues that initial work, leading the Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf 2 (ECOGIG 2) consortium with researchers from 16 U.S. institutions and resulting thus far in 34 seagoing expeditions and more than 155 publications and 370 presentations.

Joye’s strong commitment to communicating ocean science is shown through thousands of media interviews (ranging from New York Times and Wall Street Journal to National Geographic and Nature) and congressional testimony before the House Energy and Environment Committee (giving evidence of deep-water plumes following Deepwater Horizon). Some of Joye’s most creative efforts that inspire the next generation of scientists involve work with painter Rebecca Rutstein, artist Jim Toomey (The Adventures of Zack and Molly), universities and schools (Science at the Stadium, Ocean Discovery Zone, Ocean Discovery Camp, World Ocean’s Day), and filmmakers (Dispatches From the Gulf, Jewels of the Gulf, and Planet Earth’s Blue Planet series).

Joye is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union and the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Association for Sciences for Limnology and Oceanography. Other distinctions honoring Joye include the Distinguished Service Award for Education and Outreach (U.S. Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service), a Faculty Achievement Award (the Southeastern Conference), and a Creative Research Medal (University of Georgia).

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

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The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (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).