Panel discusses impact of human activity on marine ecosystems
April 20, 2017
ECOGIG participated in this discussion at the Harvard Natural History Museum
Assessing post-spill coral recovery
March 28, 2017
ECOGIG graduate student Fanny Girard uses high-definition imagery to assess post-spill coral recovery
Middle school students explore the Gulf!
March 21, 2017
7th graders at Rehoboth Road Middle School in Griffin, GA got a chance to explore the Gulf of Mexico through the Ocean Discovery Zone.
Study suggests brittle stars limited Deepwater Horizon impacts on deep sea corals
February 07, 2017
Penn State researchers observed that corals associated with brittle stars were healthier than corals that were not.
Study summarizes knowledge on marine oil snow
January 19, 2017
Scientists conducting oil spill research participated in the 2013 Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA) workshop.
Distinct microbial community succession found in sediments
December 16, 2016
The authors of this recent ECOGIG paper show how sediment microbes responded to the large amounts of hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon accident.
Deepwater Horizon hydrocarbons entered the Gulf of Mexico food web
December 14, 2016
A recent ECOGIG paper provides direct evidence through stable isotope analysis that oil and gas from the spill entered the marine food web.
Elementa special issue open for submissions
November 29, 2016
ECOGIG Project Director Dr. Samantha Joye is organizing a special feature issue of the journal Elementa. Submissions are currently being accepted online.
New publication details advances in oil detection methods
November 15, 2016
The authors of a recent ECOGIG publication detail the challenges and advancements of oil detection methods since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf.
GoMRI scientists mobilize to document impacts of methane blowout
November 10, 2016
GoMRI research consortia reacted quickly to study impacts of Hercules 265 methane leak and discovered evidence of immediate response by microbial community.
New ECOGIG publication summarizes spill impacts on Gulf's deepwater ecosystems
October 25, 2016
A recent ECOGIG publication documents the ecological impacts (to date) of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident on the deep ocean ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Ocean Discovery Zone visits Cowan Road Middle School
October 20, 2016
ECOGIG brought the Ocean Discovery Zone to students in Griffin, GA.
Science at the stadium visited Florida State University's 2016 Homecoming game
October 15, 2016
ECOGIG outreach staff took "Science at the Stadium" on the road to Florida State University on October 15th, prior to FSU's 2016 Homecoming game vs Wake Forest.
Oxford Science Cafe featured ECOGIG's Dr. Arne Diercks
October 13, 2016
The slow, steady and fascinating sedimentation processes of the deep sea was the topic for October 13th's public science forum organized by the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy, featuring ECOGIG researcher Dr. Arne Diercks.
Discover the ocean at Lamont Doherty's annual open house!
October 08, 2016
ECOGIG outreach staff brought the Ocean Discovery Zone to Lamont Doherty's Open House on October 8th in New York! To see photos from the event, visit our Facebook album.
What happened to all of the oil?
October 06, 2016
A recently published paper by ECOGIG researchers attempts to answer the question "What happened to all of the oil?" after the Deepwater Horizon accident of 2010.
Featured student: Tito Peña Montenegro
October 06, 2016
ECOGIG doctoral student and Fulbright scholar Tito Peña Montenegro was recently featured by the University of Georgia's graduate school for his research on developing ways to analyze metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets.
Massive amount of Deepwater Horizon oil transported to the seafloor as marine oil snow
October 04, 2016
A recent ECOGIG research paper published in the GoMRI special issue of Oceanography details the formation of significant quantities of marine oil snow (MOS) after the Deepwater Horizon accident and the implications of their findings for the sensitive Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and future oil spill cleanup efforts.
First UGA Science at the Stadium event of 2016!
October 01, 2016
ECOGIG outreach staff hosted UGA's first 2016 "Science at the Stadium" event on Saturday October 1st, before the UGA vs Tennessee game in Athens, GA.
Deep Corals & Oil Cruise Underway
September 17, 2016
ECOGIG and USGS scientists are in the Gulf for the next three weeks collecting information about the state of health of deepsea corals and their microbial associates.
2016 Science at the stadium season kicks off at Penn State's Fan Fest
September 03, 2016
ECOGIG outreach staff took "Science at the Stadium" on the road to Penn State's Fan Fest on September 3rd, prior to Penn State's first home game of the 2016 football season.
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Oceanography special issue now available!
September 01, 2016
This special issue provides a broad overview of the scientific work that has been done under the GoMRI program by GoMRI funded consortia. The issue contains 19 articles, 5 about ECOGIG related scientific discoveries and 1 about the outreach efforts surrounding the Deepwater Horizon accident.
Anaerobic bacteria found to be thriving in Gulf of Mexico surface oil slicks
July 29, 2016
The Deepwater Horizon accident and subsequent oil spill led to rapid microbial community shifts in the Gulf of Mexico, including the formation of unprecedented quantities of marine oil snow. A recent ECOGIG study indicates that sea surface oil slicks at the site of the accident contained anaerobic (oxygen-sensitive) microbes, including species that are more commonly found in marine sediments.
ECOGIG sets sail on the R/V Endeavor to study the Gulf
July 23, 2016
This cruise takes the ECOGIG team back to the Gulf of Mexico to continue their research assessing the ecological impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident. ECOGIG will also be recovering two gliders deployed in the Gulf on July 14th.
STEMSEAS joins ECOGIG onboard the R/V Endeavor
July 15, 2016
10 undergraduate students and 2 faculty, all participating in the STEMSEAS program, joined ECOGIG's Dr. Joseph Montoya and several graduate students onboard the R/V Endeavor as it transits from Morehead City, NC to Gulfport, MS. The STEMSEAS students will learn more about ECOGIG's research as well as general oceanographic research on the trip! Welcome aboard everyone!
The Gulf of Mexico ecosystem – before, during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout
July 01, 2016
ECOGIG recently released a special issue of the journal Deep Sea Research II- this issue includes thirty seven papers that describe various aspects of the Gulf of Mexico's ecology and physics before, during and after the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010.
Benthic animals significantly impact the nitrogen isotope balance of the world's oceans
July 01, 2016
A model developed by ECOGIG researchers at the University of Georgia has found that the activities of benthic organisms (animals that live in marine sediment), such as pumping water in and out of their burrows, has a significant impact on the isotopic signature of the nitrogen gas taken up or produced by marine sediments.
ECOGIG wraps up the summer 2016 Ocean Discovery Camp season
June 24, 2016
The inaugural 2016 Ocean Discovery Camp was a huge success- we had so much fun!! All of the photos from camp are available on our Facebook page- week 1 & week 2.
An ocean oil spill science legacy
June 08, 2016
Today on World Oceans Day, we are reflecting on the progress Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) funded consortia have made in advancing oil spill research, and subsequently our ability to deal with the ever present threat of oil spills. Due to the groundbreaking research GoMRI has sponsored, we will be better prepared to understand and respond to any future petroleum releases into marine systems.
Restoration reaches deepest depths of sea
May 31, 2016
Far offshore and a mile deep in the dark world below the Gulf of Mexico’s gleaming surface, the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon accident of 2010 did untold damage on the ocean floor. But scientists are unsure they can do much to heal places in the deep that were hurt the most as they undertake what’s being called the largest ecosystem restoration effort ever.
Coldwater black coral community connectivity in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
May 24, 2016
A recently published ECOGIG paper investigated the potential connectivity of deepwater black coral communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the impact of this connectivity (or lack thereof) on helping deepwater coral communities recover after a large stress event.
'Dirty Blizzard' sent 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill pollution to seafloor
May 23, 2016
ECOGIG researchers have recently published their findings that contaminants from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill lingered in the subsurface water for months after oil on the surface had been swept up or dispersed.
Science, Pixar and ECOGIG!
May 23, 2016
The Franklin Institute in Philidelphia, PA recently hosted a Pixar themed "Science After Hours" event, in celebration of the upcoming movie "Finding Dory." Dr. Erik Cordes, one of ECOGIG's deepwater coral experts, participated in the hands on event for the 21 and over crowd.
ECOGIG research describes the transport of pollutants in the deep layer of the Gulf of Mexico
May 19, 2016
The most recent paper from ECOGIG researchers out of Georgia Tech provides new insights on the processes that drive transport and mixing of pollutants (such as oil) in the deep water layer (below 1000m) of the Gulf of Mexico.
ECOGIG mounts rapid response after Shell Oil spill
May 16, 2016
ECOGIG scientists organized a rapid response research cruise immediately after learning of the incident, which occurred in the GC248 lease block in the Gulf of Mexico.
White House hosts event on the future of microbiomes
May 13, 2016
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s May 13 event on microbiomes—communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans and the atmosphere—featured presentations from scientists including ECOGIG Project Director Dr. Samantha Joye.
State of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem six years after the Deepwater Horizon accident
May 12, 2016
The Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is a hotspot for biological diversity and supports a number of industries, from tourism to fishery production to oil and gas exploration, that serve as the economic backbone of Gulf coast states. The latest research from ECOGIG aims to give an overview of the distribution, fate and impacts of the Deepwater Horizon accident on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
ECOGIG brings the deep sea to Oconee Primary School
May 12, 2016
ECOGIG outreach staff visited Oconee Primary School in Watkinsville, GA recently to chat with K-2nd graders about the wonders of the deep sea!
Deepwater coral symbionts limited the impact of the Deepwater Horizon accident on their hosts.
May 10, 2016
Deepwater corals form complex biological habitats in the deep-sea and are generally associated with a diverse number of organisms. However, little is known about the effect of these symbionts on the corals resilience to natural or anthropogenic impacts, such as an oil spill like the Deepwater Horizon accident. ECOGIG researchers investigated the benefits octocoral symbionts (brittle stars) provided to their coral hosts in the aftermath of the accident.
Genetic potential of oil-eating bacteria from the Deepwater Horizon accident decoded
May 09, 2016
Microbiologists have cracked the genetic code of how bacteria broke down oil to help clean up the Deepwater Horizon accident, revealing that some bacteria have far greater potential for consuming oil than was previously known.
ECOGIG researchers characterize seasonal evolution of circulation patterns in the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico
May 01, 2016
Recently published work by ECOGIG researchers characterizes, for the first time, the seasonal development of the submesoscale (scales of 0.1-10 km) circulation dynamics near the ocean surface in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and provides new insights on the transport and convergence in the late spring and early summer of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010.
Highly variable nutrient concentrations measured in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
April 26, 2016
In a recent paper published in Deep Sea Research II, ECOGIG researchers from Georgia Tech and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found that nutrient concentrations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico are highly variable and cannot be described with a linear model based on the Mississippi River's discharge alone.
Opportunity: Post-Doctoral Research Scientist
March 30, 2016
The Cordes lab at Temple University has a post-doctoral research scientist position available for a bioinformatics specialist who has experience working with non-model organisms. The position will be funded by NSF for the first year and ECOGIG for the second year.
ECOGIG inspires future scientists at the 2016 Atlanta Science Festival
March 26, 2016
The Atlanta Science Festival is an annual, week long public celebration of local science and technology. ECOGIG brought the Ocean Discovery Zone to the Exploration Expo portion of the festival, which promotes science exploration, discovery and innovation with more than 100 interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, demos and performances!
Featured student: Florida State PhD student Kelsey Rogers traces Gulf oil as a scientific CSI
March 17, 2016
Kelsey Rogers looks for evidence of oil and methane intrusion into Gulf of Mexico water and sediment, but finding these hydrocarbons is only the beginning of her work. Like a scientific crime scene investigator, Kelsey analyzes the chemical fingerprints of oil and gas and uses them to identify their source, such as from an oil spill or a natural seafloor seep.
R/V Pelican sets sail for ECOGIG's first research cruise of 2016
March 03, 2016
ECOGIG researchers are heading out to the Gulf of Mexico on the R/V Pelican on Thursday, March 3rd, where they will be recovering and deploying several different pieces of equipment to the seafloor.
New research describes microbial activities in Mississippi River Delta in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac
March 03, 2016
New research from ECOGIG scientists suggests that increased river discharge from the Mississippi River, in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, triggered blooms of phytoplankton in the Mississippi River Delta.
ECOGIG works with Boy Scouts at Badge Advance-A-Rama
February 27, 2016
ECOGIG graduate students, outreach personnel and faculty in the University of Georgia Marine Science department helped teach boy scouts attending the 2016 badge Advance-A-rama about oceanography in order to fulfill some of the requirements of their oceanography badge.
Deepwater Horizon oil transported to sediment through the formation of oil-associated marine snow
February 17, 2016
New research from ECOGIG researchers Dr. Uta Passow and Dr. Jeff Chanton suggests that a significant fraction of oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident was transported to the sediment through marine oil snow formation in Gulf of Mexico surface waters.
ECOGIG announces new Ocean Discovery Camp for summer 2016
February 11, 2016
Experience a unique hands-on approach to marine science and ocean conservation at the Ocean Discovery Camp in Athens, GA!!
ECOGIG study describes how Hurricane Isaac stirred up a marine snow storm
January 28, 2016
ECOGIG scientists representing eight institutions conducted in-situ observations and laboratory experiments to determine if Hurricane Isaac redistributed sedimented oil near the Deepwater Horizon site.
Gulf of Mexico study finds microbes thriving above natural oil seeps
January 25, 2016
Recent findings from ECOGIG researchers Dr. Nigel D'Souza, Dr. Ajit Subramaniam, Dr. Andy Juhl, Dr. Ian MacDonald and Dr. Joe Montoya provide new insight into how microbes and oil interact in the Gulf.
Opportunity: ECOGIG Post-Doctoral and PhD Positions Available
January 15, 2016
The Joye Research Group at the University of Georgia invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher and two Ph.D. level graduate students in the area of hydrocarbon microbiology, biogeochemistry, and -omics.
Dr. Jeff Chanton weighs in on the impacts of the California methane gas leak
January 15, 2016
ECOGIG's Dr. Jeff Chanton (FSU) recently spoke to Minnesota Public Radio's Paul Huttner, meteorologist and host of podcast Climate Cast, about the ongoing methane gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak in California, as well as what makes methane so much more destructive than carbon dioxide.
New ECOGIG research maps naturally occurring oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico
January 05, 2016
New research from Dr. Ian MacDonald (Florida State University), published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, quantifies the magnitude and distribution of surface oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico from natural seeps and from the Deepwater Horizon discharge, creating a map of all the active natural oil seeps in the Gulf.
Study identifies molecular fingerprints for tracking oil and dispersant fate
December 23, 2015
An international science team, including several ECOGIG researchers, examined the effects of dispersant on the activity and composition of oil-degrading marine microorganisms.
Opportunity: Post-Doctoral Research Scientist
December 01, 2015
The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking a qualified and highly motivated individual for a postdoctoral research scientist position to lead independent research in the laboratory of Dr. Beth Orcutt related to microbial hydrocarbon (methane and oil) cycling in deep-sea and Arctic environments.
ECOGIG Director Dr. Samantha Joye attends AERC annual congressional briefing in Washington, DC.
November 24, 2015
Dr. Samantha Joye recently attended the 2015 AERC (Association of Ecosystem Research Centers) annual meeting in Washington, DC to brief congress on the resilience of the Gulf of Mexico to extreme events, like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
ECOGIG researchers named ASLO sustaining fellows!
November 17, 2015
ECOGIG researchers Dr. Samantha Joye (University of Georgia) and Dr. Uta Passow (University of Santa Barbara) were recently named ASLO (American Society of Limnology and Oceanography) sustaining fellows.
Science at the Stadium goes on the road to Florida State University!
November 17, 2015
Science at the Stadium went on the road to Florida State University, where ECOGIG researchers Dr. Jeff Chanton and Dr. Ian MacDonald are currently located. The event coincided with Florida State's homecoming game against North Carolina State.
New ECOGIG research shows oil dispersants can suppress natural oil-degrading microorganisms
November 09, 2015
New results from ECOGIG’s Dr. Samantha Joye recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that the use of chemical dispersants meant to stimulate microbial crude oil degradation can, in some cases, inhibit the microorganisms that naturally degrade hydrocarbons.
ECOGIG Launches Fall 2015 Science at the Stadium Series
September 11, 2015
ECOGIG is launching the fall 2015 Science at the Stadium program to educate and inspire the public about our work in the Gulf and the importance of healthy ocean ecosystems. The series will open on Saturday, September 19th in Athens, Georgia before the University of Georgia home football hame against the University of South Carolina. This year’s Science at the Stadium series will feature the Ocean Discovery Zone!
New article in Science calls for more natural baseline data collection in world's oceans
August 07, 2015
ECOGIG's Dr. Samantha Joye (UGA) recently published a perspective piece in the journal Science, calling for more natural baseline data in the world's oceans, to improve future oil spill response efforts.
Latest ECOGIG research finds diverse, rare microbial communities responded to the Deepwater Horizon
August 03, 2015
Dr. Sara Kleindienst, a former post-doc with ECOGIG-1, just published new research in the ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology. The ISME Journal bridges the gap between microbial ecology and other science areas, and is published by the Nature group.
ECOGIG's Dr. Jeff Chanton receives prestigious AGU fellowship
July 29, 2015
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) recently announced its 2015 class of Fellows, which includes ECOGIG's Dr. Jeff Chanton (Florida State University).
MODENA explores the Gulf of Mexico!
July 14, 2015
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography's autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), nicknamed MODENA, was deployed on June 24th, 2015 to explore oceanographic conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. MODENA is one of five gliders participating in an AUV Jubilee in the Gulf this July, in collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) and ConCORDE scientists at University of Southern Mississippi and Naval Research Laboratory.
Water, water everywhere!
June 23, 2015
Girl Scouts and Brownies from the Oconee County Girl Scout Service Chapter, located in Watkinsville, GA, dove into the Gulf of Mexico with ECOGIG and Dr. Mandy Joye (University of Georgia) during their "Water, Water Everywhere" day camp on June 23rd, 2015.
ECOGIG researchers observe and detect oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico using SailDrone
June 11, 2015
On June 10th, 2015, ECOGIG researchers conducted a coordinated series of observations at the GC600 study site and nearby sites with additional natural oil seepage. They deployed an autonomous marine data logger called SailDrone to measure and report real time data about the size and location of surface oil slicks.
ECOGIG Scientists Celebrated 2015 World Oceans Day with Two Events
June 08, 2015
ECOGIG scientists participated in World Oceans Day on Monday, June 8, 2015 by hosting and participating in two events. World Oceans Day is the United Nations-recognized day of ocean celebration and action. People all over our blue planet organize events to support action to protect the ocean. This year, the theme was "healthy oceans, healthy planet."
Featured Student: Florida State PhD student Caroline Johansen Counts Bubbles to Understand Natural Oil Seeps
May 12, 2015
Caroline Johansen laughs when her family tells others that her research involves counting bubbles. But the bubbles she studies come from seeps at the bottom of the Gulf and contain naturally-occurring hydrocarbons that are an important part of the deep-sea ecosystem. Calling her research “original and transformative,” ECOGIG project director Dr. Samantha Joye said that Caroline is an ideal representative for the GoMRI Scholars Program. “Caro is a bright, talented, and hard-working young scientist,” said Joye. “She is exceptionally willing to support the efforts of others, whether through intellectual input or staying up half the night to help someone get their samples processed.” She added, “I could not be more proud to include her as part of the ECOGIG team.”
E/V Nautilus explores the Gulf of Mexico with ECOGIG
May 04, 2015
A research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the E/V Nautilus took place April 23-May 4, 2015, led by ECOGIG researchers Dr. Erik Cordes of Temple University and Dr. Charles Fisher of Penn State University. This cruise focused on deepwater corals, their associated communities, and their response to the oil spill. A great 60-second video overview of this ECOGIG expedition can be found on the Nautilus YouTube channel here.
National Ocean Science Bowl winners get a taste of life on a research ship
April 30, 2015
This year's National Ocean Science Bowl finalists (nosb.org) got a treat at the end of the April 2015 competition held in Ocean Springs, MS. ECOGIG co-principal investigator Dr. Vernon Asper of the University of Southern Mississippi hosted the finalists for an afternoon aboard the research vessel Point Sur, which was just returning from its six-day research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.
ECOGIG Perspectives Part 3: The ECOGIG Student & Post-Doc Experience, In Their Own Words
April 27, 2015
"While we all may be answering different questions, our scientific goal to understand the northern Gulf of Mexico in an unprecedented way is the same. I honestly can say I have never before experienced such a collaborative effort from the young scientific community and am proud to be a part of this hopefully enduring trend." Caleb King, a graduate student working with Dr. Chris Martens at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is just one of dozens of students and post-doctoral researchers who have been involved in ECOGIG research over the past several years. Their stories serve as inspiration for all involved in ECOGIG.
ECOGIG Perspectives Part 2B: What ECOGIG Scientists Have Learned in the Past 5 Years, In Their Own Words
April 26, 2015
"The Gulf is in serious trouble. As a marine ecosystem, there were many stressors prior to the Deepwater Horizon discharge and there has been little relief in the post-discharge era. For example, the nutrient loading from Mississippi River has continued. Apalachicola Bay, previously a major producer of oysters, has been devastated by diversion of freshwater upstream. Populations of fish, turtles, and marine mammals were seriously depleted. The discharged oil added a sudden, acute stress to an already unstable system. More research is needed to assess recovery, but much of the proposed work is too narrowly focused and basic research assets--ships, instruments, ROVs have limited availability and high costs." In the words of Ian MacDonald, ECOGIG co-principal investigator, there is still a lot more work needed to understand the Gulf's recovery. Today we continue our 3 part series in honor of the 5th anniversary of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Part 2 has been split into 2 sections - A and B. We asked the ECOGIG investigators for their perspectives on their work since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
ECOGIG Perspectives Part 2A: What ECOGIG Scientists Have Learned in the Past 5 Years, In Their Own Words
April 25, 2015
"In today’s world, it is not enough to be a scientist doing good science. Scientists must also be (or become) effective communicators of the science they do. The public needs to understand what we do, why we are doing it, and what we are learning. There is inherent value in the work we do and it is relevant to the public at large, not just to scientists. An educated and engaged public is the only way to change the status quo. My involvement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon event has led me to become an outspoken advocate for the oceans and for environmental literacy." In the words of ECOGIG program director Dr. Mandy Joye, the Deepwater Horizon incident was professionally and personally life changing. Today we continue our 3 part series in honor of the 5th anniversary of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In anticipation of this important anniversary, we asked the ECOGIG investigators for their perspectives on their work since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Part 2 has been split into 2 sections, each highlighting a group of ECOGIG scientists.
ECOGIG Perspectives Part 1: Five Years After The Deepwater Horizon Oil Well Blowout
April 24, 2015
Five years ago today, on April 20th 2010, a chain of events that ultimately resulted in the most significant offshore oil release in U.S. history began. The Deepwater Horizon, a dynamically positioned offshore mobile drilling unit, was drilling a production well in the Macondo Prospect, located in Mississippi Canyon lease block 252, about 40 miles offshore if the southeast coast of Louisiana. The night of April 20th 2010, rig operators experienced a loss of well control, resulting in a well blowout. The explosion and subsequent fire on the platform killed eleven men and injured sixteen others. The blowout preventer, which should have cut the riser pipe at the seafloor and sealed the blown out well, failed and the fire on the platform raged for two days. On April 22nd, the Deepwater Horizon sank, initiating an uncontrolled release of oil and gas from the seafloor that lasted for 87 days and introduced over some 5 million barrels of oil (210 million gallons) and 500,000 metric tons of methane into the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
ECOGIG brings the Gulf of Mexico to North Carolina students
April 19, 2015
ECOGIG co-principal investigator Dr. Andreas Teske with UNC-Chapel Hill recently gave a talk on the Gulf of Mexico at the North Carolina Marbles Kids Museum- a science fair and cinema center in Raleigh that provides a venue for science-related events, talks and activities for school kids.
ECOGIG Graduate Student Wins Competitive Scholarship
April 16, 2015
Samira Daneshgar Asl, a graduate student working with Dr. Ian MacDonald, was named the O'Brien Fellow for 2015 at Florida State University.
Dr. Jeff Chanton leads team of ECOGIG & DEEP- C colleagues in locating 6-10 Million Gallons of Deepwater Horizon oil buried in the sediment on GOM floor
February 02, 2015
A nine-member research team, led by ECOGIG's Dr. Jeff Chanton, published a paper in the latest edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology locating - for the first time - 6 to 10 million gallons of DWH oil that are buried in the sediment on the Gulf of Mexico sea floor.
Featured student: Tingting Yang
January 25, 2015
Tingting Yang is a graduate student in microbial ecology. She works in Dr. Andreas Teske's lab in the marine sciences department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Featured student: Dannenberg unlocking mysteries
January 13, 2015
Deep below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico live vast canyons of coral. Recent news reports suggest that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have impacted the health of these corals. To find out, PhD student Richard Dannenberg is delving into their world, looking at the bacteria that live with the coral for clues about that potential damage.
Dr. Charles Fisher and team show extended footprint of oil spill impact on corals
December 11, 2014
ECOGIG scientists widened their study scope of deep sea coral communities after finding oil-impacted coral near the Deepwater Horizon site.
Dr. Samantha Joye is named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
November 26, 2014
ECOGIG's Samantha Joye has been named a new AAAS Fellow. This premier honor is bestowed by peers for "scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.". Dr. Joye will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin on Feb. 14 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California.
UGA receives $18.8 million to continue Gulf of Mexico oil spill research
November 18, 2014
ECOGIG-2 has been awarded a three-year, $18.8 million dollar grant to continue the work of ECOGIG, by the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute (GoMRI).
Dr. Samantha Joye participates in Ocean GEMS
November 07, 2014
ECOGIG's Dr. Samantha Joye was a speaker to hundreds of youth around the US and Canada, via a web-connected session of Mission Blue's "Ocean Gems", a youth science mentorship program session at BLUE Ocean film festival & conservation summit
Dr. Uta Passow's research on marine snow and the fate of some of the Deepwater Horizon plume published in PNAS
November 03, 2014
Of the estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded into fire and then sank in 2010, about 75% was neither recovered nor burned. New studies propose mechanisms for how some of that oil may have wound up on the seafloor. The work suggests the oil is more broadly distributed on the seafloor than previously realized.
What a Matchup! SEC Football and science at the stadium
October 21, 2014
ECOGIG recently launched the “Science at the Stadium” education program to connect fascinating undersea research technology with the thrilling college football atmosphere.
Featured student: Samira Daneshgar Asl
September 15, 2014
Samira is currently a graduate research assistant in Dr. Ian MacDonald’s lab in the school of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Florida State University.
BioScience features ECOGIG research on oil spill impacts
September 03, 2014
The September 2014 issue of BioScience features seven peer-reviewed articles authored by GoMRI-funded scientists and engineers, including 2 papers by ECOGIG researchers, discussing key phenomena occurring at the time of the Macondo blowout.
Impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coral communities is deeper and broader than predicted
August 07, 2014
A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Interview: Deep-Sea Researcher Dr. Samantha Joye on Microbes in the Gulf
August 06, 2014
Ocean Conservancy interviewed Dr. Samantha Joye for their "Blog Aquatic" series, profiling scientists who are championing marine research in the Gulf of Mexico.
Featured researcher: Dr. Yuley Cardona
July 03, 2014
Dr. Yuley Cardona is a post-doctoral research associate in the Bracco research group at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.
November science cafe highlights Gulf of Mexico research
November 19, 2013
Oxford (MS) Science Cafe hosted ECOGIG researcher Dr. Arne-R. Diercks on November 19, 2013. His talk was about autonomous underwater vehicles used for oil spill research and included discussion about the University of Mississippi and University of Southern Mississippi collaboration operating two autonomous underwater vehicles, Eagle Ray and Mola Mola, and how they perform seafloor surveys at depths down to 2,000 meters.
ECOGIG hosts media during a rare tandem Gulf of Mexico research cruise.
July 05, 2013
ECOGIG scientists studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill invited the media aboard their research vessels recently during a stop at the Port of Gulfport. Much of their research has focused on the oil spill's impact on coral reefs in the Gulf.
Live Feed from the E/V Nautilus: ECOGIG deep sea exploration for oil spill research
June 21, 2013
Watching scientists do research in real time on board a ship operating tens to hundreds of miles off shore is a rare opportunity for the public; but that is exactly what is available right now at www.nautiluslive.org.
New oil sheen prompts another investigation of Deepwater Horizon disaster scene
November 11, 2012
An overflight inspection of the Deepwater Horizon disaster site 40 miles south of Grand Isle this past weekend found a new, mile-long oil sheen, which has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to again require BP to inspect the wellhead and debris area on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico with a remotely operated vehicle for the source of the oil.
ECOGIG collaborated with Schmidt Ocean Institute on a shakedown cruise.
November 06, 2012
ECOGIG collaborated with Schmidt Ocean Institute for a final shakedown cruise on the research vessel Falkor. This cruise was dedicated to a comprehensive study of ecosystems near the site of Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
ECOGIG conducts another cruise in its post-Deepwater Horizon accident time series
November 01, 2012
Two researchers from the University of Georgia - Post Doc Sara Kleindienst and PhD student Maggie Esch - are part of a twelve person science team led by chief scientist, Ian MacDonald (Florida State University), that is sailing on board the research vessel Falkor to study the repercussions of the Macondo blowout on Gulf of Mexico benthic ecosystems.
ECOGIG's first research cruise places long-term monitoring equipment on the seafloor
October 01, 2012
ECOGIG researcher Dr. Laura Lapham has just returned from a cruise on the Gulf of Mexico to study the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Chasing the hidden effects of Deepwater Horizon oil
June 22, 2012
The June, 2012 R/V Endeavor cruise prompted five Chronicle of Higher Education articles written by Josh Fischman, who joined the cruise.
ECOGIG Cruises: Spring
June 01, 2012
Our new Gulf of Mexico research project—“ECological Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf”—will involve at lot of time at sea over the next few years. The project had its first cruise on board the R/V Endeavor in April 2012 and successfully deployed two instrumented landers for long-term monitoring of seafloor-water column chemical exchange.
ECOGIG sets sail to understand impacts of oil in deepwater ecosystems
April 18, 2012
Dr. Vernon Asper with the University of Mississippi and 18 scientists sailed from Gulfport, MS on April 12th on the R/V Endeavor for the first of six research cruises.