March 2016 Newsletter
Stay updated with our bi-monthly newsletters!
The University of South Florida, Eckerd College, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Harte Research Institute, Mind Open Media, Mote Marine Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Technical University of Hamburg, Texas A&M University, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, University of Calgary, University of Miami, University of South Alabama, University of Western Australia, University of West Florida, Wageningen University, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Things never seem to slow down when it comes to oil spill research. Just when the annual GoMRI conference finishes, planning begins for the coming year and summer sampling. This newsletter features lessons learned from the 2016 GoMOSES Conference, new The Loop podcasts, and bilingual Students of the Month!
Our webpage has a new look! Check it out!

2016 C-IMAGE All-Hands, Friday, February 5th, Tampa, FL:
After four days of presentations, plenaries, and posters, C-IMAGE members rallied for one final day to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within each of C-IMAGE's six tasks.
The C-IMAGE Consortium-2016
The gathering brought together 86 members to discuss plans for future research in task break out and group discussion sessions. A dinner afterwards was at David Hollander's place in Gulfport, FL to celebrate both a successful conference and All-Hands meeting.

Task update presentations are available upon request. Contact Ben Prueitt to access these notes.

The next C-IMAGE All Hands will be in December 2016, not associated with the GoMRI conference. Please pay attention to emails for details and budget accordingly.

Year 1 Annual Reports Submitted:
Year 1 of C-IMAGE II brought us several new colleagues to help fill the gaps in our research plans. Year 1 resulted in 12 peer-reviewed publications, 46 presentations and posters, and 184 total members (including 52 students). Let Year 2 Begin! Important dates in 2016 will be updated throughout the year on our Calendar of Events page.

Part of the annual reports were Conflict of Interest forms completed by all consortium members. C-IMAGE showed 95% reporting of these forms. Thank you to all who submitted forms; your efforts helped us complete this requirement!

Next Quarterly Reports will be due Friday, 15 April, 2016.

Conference Calls:
Task 5 Update, 1 March, 2016:
The Ecotoxicology Group held an update call discussing concepts of the purpose of the exposure trials and identifying the ultimate products from research efforts. Slides and recording from the call are available upon request to Ben Prueitt.

Upcoming Calls:
Task working group calls will be scheduled in the coming weeks to continue discussions from the All-Hands meeting. Keep track of emails from your Task Leads for more information.
2016 GoMOSES Conference Highlights - Tampa, FL
Busy 2015 pays off during Annual Conference
Nearly 100 C-IMAGE members attended the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES), and won the  fictitious 'least- and most-traveled consortium award', with members traveling 15km (USF in Tampa) to 18,000 km (University of W. Australia in Perth) for the conference.

Monday afternoon brought a variety of topical workshops and meetings including science communication, biodegredation and toxicity study design, and our own Scott Socolofsky hosted a near field modeling workshop.

Monday night provided a different perspective with the 
C-IMAGE Story Collider, where scientists shared personal journeys, motivations, and stories from their careers.
Ernst Peebles, Steve Murawski, Isabel Romero, Jim Verhulst, and Kendra Daly shared their stories of science at Story Collider.
Of our five speakers, four of them represented marine research at the USF-College of Marine Science.  Our fifth speaker is  the Perspective Editor for the Tampa Bay Times. For a full synopsis of each presenter, visit the article on our webpage.

The whirlwind of presentations, meetings and posters began on Tuesday morning with the welcoming remarks by Dr. Rita Colwell, and keynote address from Dr. McNutt (AAAS) discussing the importance of data longevity.

The remainder of the week taught us several new things about our C-IMAGE research progress:
  1. A MOSSFA event occurred during the Ixtoc I spill: Independent analyses from Chanton's Lab (FSU-EOAS) and Hastings' Lab (Eckerd College) concluded evidence of a Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA) following the 1979 Ixtoc I spill. 13C and 14C (Chanton & Bosman) and Mn Redoxcline studies (Hastings) shows the sinking of oiled-particles to the seafloor.
  2. Tilefish in the Gulf showing genetic difference: Preliminary genomics studies from the Portnoy lab (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi/Harte Research Institute) indicate that Golden Tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) populations may have different lineages between the northeast, northwest, and southern Gulf of Mexico. These genomics data were made possible during the 2015 Gulf Fish Survey with plans of expanding the dataset into the western Gulf in Summer 2016.
  3. Methane gas in oil ("Live Oil") changes droplet size distribution at high pressures: Dissolved methane in oil plumes has been an understudied mechanism, but work at the Schlüter lab (Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg) is beginning to incorporate "Live Oil" into our studies. A pressure drop of 86 bar (1,250 psi) over the well head might strongly influence the final droplet size in live oil.
Dead Oil (L) and Live Oil (R) show different droplet size distributions at pressure.

Our twitter feed featured a selection of C-IMAGE's 45 oral presentations using #gulfscienceconference, and #OneGulfFollow us on Twitter

C-IMAGE Students of the Month
For back-to-back months, students from the  Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México are featured as C-IMAGE Students of the Month. C-IMAGE has added another language to our center!

February 2016
Laura Gómez, M.S. Student, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México-Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología.

Laura Gómez aboard the B/O Justo Sierra.  

Gómez studies benthic foraminifera for population and ecological studies in Campeche Bay.

To read more about Laura's research, visit the blog post here.

March 2016
Adriana Gaytán-Caballero, PhD Student, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México-Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología.
Adriana and Travis Washburn separate macrofauna from sediments in the Bay of Campeche
Adriana studies natural carbon seeps in Campeche Bay, southern Gulf of Mexico. Adriana has experience teaching marine science at UNAM.

Read Adriana's full Student of the Month Blog, here
New episodes of The Loop Highlights Importance of Ixtoc spill 
Beach clean up following Ixtoc I.
The Loop Episode 7

"These are two of the largest spills [Deepwater Horizon and Ixtoc I] in the world's history as far as blowouts go and they were both in the Gulf of Mexico".  Wes Tunnell is a marine biologist who is looking at the aftermath of both spills. It's almost like his looking at the same crime scene, separated by more than three decades.

Transferring a core aboard the R/V Justo Sierra.
The Loop Episode 8

For the first time in 35 years, Mexican and American scientists are working together to study the Ixtoc 1 spill, a massive oil blowout that happened off the Yucatan peninsula in 1979. What they learn on this cruise might help them understand how major spills-like the Deepwater Horizon disaster-will affect the Gulf decades after they happen.

A-B) Oil release and Subsurface plume, C1-C3) Oil Evolution through weathering & UV exposure, C4-D) Weathered oil collects with marine snow and sinks, E-F) Redistribution of oil on seafloor.
Our MOSSFA: Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation working group in collaboration with the ECOGIG and Deep-C Consortia have published a recent publication outlining the process of a MOSSFA event, published in Anthropocene.

Marine snow formation, incorporation of oil, and subsequent downward settling to the seafloor (i.e., MOSSFA: Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation) was a significant pathway for the distribution and fate of oil, accounting for as much as 14% of the total oil released. Long residence times of oil on the seafloor will result in prolonged exposure of benthic organisms and economically important fish.

Water Accommodated Fraction (WAF) is a mixture of sea water and oil. Exposing this WAF to sunlight and oxygen weathers the oil into new compositions.
A recent study compares the chemical composition of a mixture of water and Macondo well or surrogate oils when exposed to sunlight and the elements.

After weathering the water accommodated fractions of the two types of oil, a difference in resulting compounds was seen in chemical analysis, with respect to the Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon compounds created.

The bacterial communities of the weathered WAFs were similar between Macondo and surrogate oil.

C-IMAGE: Reaching Out in the Community....
Florida Oceans Day, Tallahassee, FL - 11 February
The C-IMAGE, RECOVER, and CARTHE Consortia represented the Gulf of Mexico Research  Initiative for a day of booths in the lobby of the Florida State Capitol.

Dispatches from the Gulf Premiere - 29 February, St. Petersburg
C-IMAGE partner, the Florida Institute of Oceanography hosted the public screening of the new Dispatches from the Gulf documentary. The film features several C-IMAGE members including Steve Murawski, David Hollander, Will Patterson, Joe Tarnecki, Isabel Romero, Patrick Schwing and students Amy Wallace, Susan Snyder, and Kristina Deak.

Following the film a panel discussion featured:
  • Dr. Chuck Wilson, GoMRI Chief Scientist
  • Steve Murawski, C-IMAGE Lead PI
  • Martin Grosell, RECOVER Lead PI
  • Mandy Joye, ECOGIG Lead PI
  • Hal & Marilyn Weiner, Screenscope Producers
  • Capt. Brandon "Boomer" Baumeister, R/V Weatherbird II
  • Amy Wallace, C-IMAGE PhD Student
Over 1,000 people attended the screening and asked very informed questions to the panelists.

If you would like to hold a screening in your hometown, please visit

Dr. Greg Stunz to speak at TEDx San Antonio - 5 March, Rackspace
Save the...Sharks!? will share his experience with studying sharks and fisheries and a predicted decline in their numbers using a unique data set. The TEDx also includes talks on art education and connecting people through Tex-Mex cuisine.  To see Dr. Stunz's post TEDx interview, click here !

Upcoming Events:
Dr. Andrea Tarnecki - 14 March, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
"Probiotics in Aquaculture: Tiny Organisms and their Giant Impacts." is part of the Mote Marine Laboratory lecture series held in Sarasota, FL.  Her lecture will share how studying bacteria can help us understand and raise fish. This talk will describe what is known about the fish microbiota - microscopic organisms living in and upon their bodies - and the use of beneficial bacteria called probiotics in aquaculture systems, while sharing results from Tarnecki's own research. Tickets are $10, and available here.

Journey to Planet Earth: Dispatches from the Gulf
The GoMRI funded documentary, Dispatches from the Gulf, is now available for DVD orders and screening requests on their website, Upcoming Screenings include:
    • 6 March, Louisiana Art Museum, Baton Rouge, LA
    • 8 March, Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History, Corpus Christi, TX
    • 12 March, Mississippi Museum of Natural History, Jackson MS
    • 25 March, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC
C-IMAGE Spotlight Videos
Advice for Young Scientists
Advice for Young Scientists
Our outreach team is releasing  short videos  highlighting individual  C-IMAGE scientists. These include videos about Dr. John Gold, Dr. Chuanmin Hu, and more. Videos are all available on our  YouTube page .

Community outreach and education is something C-IMAGE continues to focus on throughout the RFP-IV. Consortium members look to continue to relay new found knowledge to the community.

The C-IMAGE outreach team wants to hear more about how our members interact with the communities. If there is an upcoming event, let Ben Prueitt know and we can promote it through social media, and highlight it in upcoming newsletters.

As research is submitted and published through the months, please remember to have this exact phrase in the Acknowledgements or a similar section:

"This research was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.  Data are publicly available through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) at (doi: <doi1> [, <doi2>, <doi3> ...])."


"This research was made possible in part by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and in part by [list other sources]. Data are publicly available through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) at (doi: <doi1> [, <doi2>, <doi3> ...])."

Additionally, before submitting any manuscript for publication, verify with the data team ( Richard McKenzie & Todd Chavez) that GRIID-C has the data in place. 
The C-IMAGE II Consortium
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