More Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

Purple octocoral at ECOGIG study site.
By Emily Frost When oil spills in the ocean, slicks are the center of media attention because they do so much immediate harm to wildlife. Oil floating at the surface can harm fish, kill birds,...
Some fish only spend a part of the year in the Gulf of Mexico, but some, like the Gulf killifish, live there year-round. In addition, these estuary fish are small and abundant, making them an...
Graduate students Danielle Young from Temple University and Dannise Ruiz from Penn State preparing oil and dispersant solutions for exposure experiments with deep sea corals aboard the exploration...
We often assume that an oil spill means instant death or long-term harm to all animals in the area. But things are rarely that simple, and wildlife can be surprisingly resilient. GoMRI researchers...
There are many sources of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, including natural deep-sea oil seeps, small spills from ships, and oil from roads that washes into the sea—not to mention big oil spills like...
You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics. Simply put, forams are single-celled organisms related to the familiar amoeba that...
A boat full of SCOPE drifters waits to release small, biodegradable buoys that will travel throughout the Gulf of Mexico and send GPS coordinates to researchers. This is the second experiment by...
One of the biggest questions is how Gulf animals will fare in the years after the spill, since oil spill impacts don't often happen immediately. One group of GoMRI researchers studied salt marsh...
There can be catastrophic results when a large amount of oil is spilled into the ocean—as when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. But did you know that...
By Emily Frost Jellyfish aren't the passive creatures you think they are. While they appear to simply drift through the ocean, letting the currents take them where they may, they can also swim up and...
A deep sea crab ( Rochinia crassa ) poses with sea fan ( Callogorgia spp. ) and coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) on large carbonate boulder.
We all know to avoid touching or eating oil (the fossil fuel variety that is). But after a coastal oil spill, avoiding oil can be difficult if you live near the sea or rely on it for protein or your...
By Emily Frost Throw a message in a bottle into the vast ocean and where does it go? The answer to this question is not just a romantic curiosity. Thinking about where a small floating item might end...
This small drone helped scientists follow a trail of pink dye tracking water movement below the ocean surface in the Gulf of Mexico. Along with pre-placed underwater sensors, a helicopter, and a kite...
Dispersants, soap-like chemicals that cause oil to mix with water more easily, have been used with success to clean up oil spilled on the ocean's surface. But Deepwater Horizon wasn't a surface spill...
One of the worst places for oil to end up after a spill is in marshes, where it can kill grass and cause erosion. But how much damage does it do, how far inland does it reach, and how long does the...
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