Scientists report on latest deepwater horizon oil spill impacts

Credit: Phil Stouffer, LSU

LSU scientists will present new research at the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans next week. These experts will be among hundreds of oil spill-related researchers from academia, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and industry, who will share the latest oil spill and ecosystem scientific discoveries, innovations, technologies and policies on Feb. 6-9.

LSU faculty will lead an important session, where key information on how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has affected coastal ecosystems will be presented. Multi-year Signatures of the DWH Oil Spill in Coastal Systems will be presented on Wednesday, Feb. 8, and led by LSU Boyd Professor R. Eugene Turner and Shell Oil Endowed Chair Nancy Rabalais in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in the LSU College of the Coast & Environment, along with LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources Associate Professor Sabrina Taylor.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted various ecological communities differently over time. The scientists will present their findings in two parts. In Part I, the scientists will present research on marsh erosion, stability, microbes and vegetation. In Part II, they will share information on how specific ecological communities and animals that live on land and in shallow water have responded as well as the implications for the larger picture as depicted in food web studies. All of these findings affect how we prepare to avoid, minimize and mitigate activities on the coast.

Conference participants will focus on applications and practical uses of scientific research in the Gulf of Mexico. The four-day conference will consist of 23 scientific sessions with nearly 350 oral presentations and 260 poster presentations. A searchable database of abstracts for oral and poster presentations and the full conference schedule will be available on online. Click here to view the conference schedule at a glance.

Scientific talks by LSU researchers on Wednesday include:

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Sustained Impacts on Louisiana Salt Marsh Soil Greenhouse Gas Fluxes Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill by Brian Roberts, adjunct professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Reconciling the disconnect between individual- and population-level responses to contamination in Seaside Sparrows by Phil Stouffer, professor of conservation biology, School of Renewable Natural Resources

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Weathering of the Macondo Oil during six years in Louisiana’s coastal Marshes by Ed Overton, emeritus professor, Department of Environmental Sciences

5:00 – 5:15 p.m.

A Computationally-Efficient Spatially-Distributed Model for Wave-Driven Marsh Edge Retreat by Giulio Mariotti, assistant professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

5:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Effects of Mississippi River Diversions on Hydrodynamics and Surface Oil Transport in the Northcentral Gulf of Mexico by Dubravko Justi?, Distinguished Professor & Texaco Distinguished Professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences


The registration fee will be waived for credentialed members of the media.

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference is made possible by the generous support of many organizations including: the National Academies’ Gulf Research Program and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Media Contact

Alison Satake
[email protected]

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