The University of South Florida, Eckerd College, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Hamburg University of Technology, Mote Marine Laboratory, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, University of Calgary, University of Miami, University of South Alabama, University of West Florida, Wageningen University

November 2014 Newsletter
In This Issue
Contact Us
Education and Outreach
Related/Coming Up
Quick Links

On the Web:

Contact List



Steven Murawski


Chief Scientist

David Hollander


Center Coordinator

Sherryl Gilbert


Cruise Coordinator

Nancy Thompson


Data Manager

Todd Chavez


Education and Outreach

Teresa Greely

Liesl Hotaling

Hello C-IMAGE Members,

As we continue to count the days until the announcement of the RFP-4 funded consortia, there is still work to be done, and we manage to make great strides in our research plans. 

Just a couple more weeks to wait.......


Conference Calls

We had a C-IMAGE conference call on September 19th that focused on research updated from Task 2 members. Michael Schlueter (Hamburg) and Ryan Snowden (Calgary) gave a presentation on the ongoing high pressure work.  Topics included high pressure biodegradation of naphthalene and tolulene, real time O2 monitoring at high pressure, endoscope improvements for PSDs, characterization of surrogate oil at high pressures, and partition coefficients. Call notes and the associated presentation are both available on the private section of our website to protect IP until publication.  C-IMAGE members are welcome to view and download them. Please contact Sherryl Gilbert if you have any questions about access.


Our next call on Sedimentary Oil Deposition will be the week of November 4, 2014.  Indicate your availability on the Doodle Link provided:

C-IMAGE Leadership spoke with other GoMRI-funded researchers on September 5th during the GoMRI Consortia PI call. Notes from these calls are also available in the password protected area of our website.

Highlight on Students/Post-docs


Student of the Month for September, Katelyn Houghton

Ms. Katelyn Houghton was selected as C-IMAGE's Student of the Month for September.
Katelyn  is a MS student working on the impacts of oil and dispersants on bacterial productivity in the Gulf of Mexico.  She is a student of Wade Jeffrey's out of the Department of Biology and the Center for the Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida.   
Student of the Month for October, Shokouh Rahsepar   

Ms. Shokouh Rahsepar is a PhD student studying the biodegradation of oil with other particles present. She is a student of Alette Langenhoff's and Martijn Smit's in the Department of Environmental Technology out of Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
They were asked two questions about their research and daily activities. Read their answers in our Student of the Month blog!

If you want to be the subject of next month's blog, just let us know.

C-IMAGE Students Receive Fellowships
C-IMAGE PI Steven Murawski and two of his students, Susan Snyder and Marcy Cockrell

Early last month, The College of Marine Science at USF held its Fellowship Award Luncheon to recognize and present awards to our noteworthy students.  Many C-IMAGE students were recipients.

Susan Snyder - Robert M. Garrels Fellowship 
Jenny Fenton - William T. Hogarth Fellowship in Marine Mammals
Michelle Masi - Carl Riggs Sr. Endowed Fellowship
Jennifer Granneman - The Knight Fellowship

For more information, visit the announcement.

Our Graduates
They have worked hard to get here, and C-IMAGE would like to congratulate our recent graduates on their successful dissertations and theses!

Susan Snyder, M.S.          Sarah Tominack, M.S.
 Elizabeth Herdter, M.S.    Katie Watson, M.S.  
Katelyn Houghton, M.S.    Karlina Merkins, Ph.D.
The Murawski/Hollander team embarked on the Mud and Blood cruise of 2014 August 13-29, our last of the project. Members of the documentary team Screenscope, Inc. came aboard the ship and collected footage and interviews for a GoMRI-funded documentary to come out next year. 

In The Literature
The growing number of lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico has been a concern for scientists for the last ten years. Earlier this month, Dahl and Patterson published a study on their size and density distributions in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and also looked at how their diet varies among habitats.

Hydrocarbon degrading bacteria behave differently deep in the ocean at high pressure than they do at the sea level. Our High Pressure Experimental group out of the Hamburg University of Technology publishes the results of their latest study. 

Ref:    Schedler, M., Hiessl, Valladares, A. G., Gust, G., Muller, R. Effect of high pressure on hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Express, 2014, 4(77), 1-7.


A related study out of Hamburg summarizes how the biodegrdation of crude oil is quantified using online monitoring of oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations.

Ref: Valladares, A. G., Kadimesetty, S., Achatz, A., Schedler, M., Muller, R. Online Monitoring of Crude Oil Biodegradation at Elevated Pressures, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 2014, 99(PP), 1-7. (in press)


On a more peculiar note, we learned more this month about what fish eye lenses can tell us about their environment.  In a study out of the University of South Florida, Wallace et al. look at stable isotope ratios in the eyes of red snapper, red grouper, gag, and white grunt in the Gulf of Mexico.  A cool study just in time for Halloween!!!

Ref: Wallace, A, A., Hollander, D. J., Peebles, E. B. Stable Isotopes in Fish Eye Lenses as Potential Recorders of Trophic and Geographic History, PLoS ONE 9, 10, 2014.


We also have 15 manuscripts under review and many more in preparation.  For updates and publication links, please  visit our website.  If we're missing any, please contact us.



Hal and Marilyn Weiner from Screenscope, Inc. and their production team is the recipient of a grant from GoMRI to document research conducted in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill. 



Over the last couple of months, both Hal and Marilyn have traveled nationwide to gather interviews and videos for the film, due out in February 2015.  They spent some time on the Mud and Blood cruise in August and visited USF, St. Petersburg in October to gather additional content. 





Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) - in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.


C-IMAGE European investigators from the Technical University of Hamburg at Harburg, Wageningen University/IMARES have partnered up with DNV GL, SINTEF out of Trondheim, Norway and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to develop an integrated operational response to a potentially catastrophic pollution event.

Education and Outreach.....


Florida Institute of Oceanography's Media Day


The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) held its first Open House on October 1, 2014 on the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science campus.  This event educated guests about FIO's research and education capabilities, innovative technologies and productive collaborations among its 27 member institutions.  

C-IMAGE, CARTHE and Deep-C participated in the event to update visitors on GoMRI funded research in the Gulf and how FIO is contributing to GoMRI's mission.

Visitors also were able to tour FIO's research vessels, R/V Weatherbird II and R/V Bellows, experience some of the latest ocean technologies, and learn about the wide range of research, teaching and monitoring practices available to protect Florida's vital coastal waters.  Attendees included members of the Florida University System Board of Governors, President of USF, Judy Genshaft, Provost, Ralph Wilcox, and St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman.


Florida seafood prepared by local chefs from 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House and the TradeWinds Island Resorts was served during the event to highlight the versatility and importance of Gulf seafood.  


In the News and Around Town


C-IMAGE PI Steven Murawski made the news last month with a new potential application for "facial recognition software".  Images from the C-BASS system are run through this software to get an estimate of fish density estimates.


In the Classroom

C-IMAGE leadership visited a 4th grade classroom at Pinellas Park Elementary School and brought some smelly friends for a visit.  Kids had a chance to get up close and personal with some Gulf of Mexico natives (King snake eel, red snapper, red grouper).  They also performed density exercises and learned about sediment coring.



Did someone say Climate Change?

Eckerd College hosted a "Climate Science and Solutions Summit" earlier this month where scientists were able to speak to the pubic about the challenges and potential solutions to the future of renewable energy initiatives in Florida.

Photo credit: Jay Conner, St. Pete Tribune

C-IMAGE, Deep-C, and ECOGIG scientists spoke to a packed conference center along with local and state representatives. See the full story here.


St. Petersburg Science Festival

Thousand of visitors came to Bayboro Harbor for the St. Petersburg Science Festival on October 18.  C-IMAGE partners from USF, Eckerd College, and The Florida Institute of Oceanography were able to interact with guests of all ages for a beautiful fun-filled day of Science in the Sun!

From GoMRI....  
The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, 2015
Mark your calendars!  Registration is open to attend the GoMRI Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference.  We hope to see you all there!  February 16-19 in Houston, Texas at the Westin Galleria.  

GoMRI Webinars

All of the GoMRI research webinars are now posted and available online: 


The most recent GoMRI Research Webinar: 

Unprecedented Weathering of Macondo Well Oil

Presenters: Dr. Chris Reddy and Dr. Christoph Aeppli

October 22, 2014

Please note that these webinars are designed to designed to inform GoMRI researchers of the various research efforts taking place within the GoMRI community. Please do share this information with your GoMRI colleagues but please do not distribute this information outside of the GoMRI network. 

Upcoming Events of Interest....

November 3-9, 2014
Every two years ocean leaders, filmmakers, photographers, scientists, explorers, entertainment executives - and the general public-- gather in Tampa Bay/ St. Petersburg, FL at BLUE to honor the best in ocean filmmaking, to learn more about the issues facing our oceans, and to collaborate on improving the future of our oceans and humanity. The seven-day event is charged with energy as these diverse groups of people share knowledge and ideas with each other and with the general public. C-IMAGE will have an informational exhibit during the festival. For more information, please visit:

Join host Guy Harvey for the second Fisheries Symposium at the University of South Florida - St. Petersburg campus, November 13-15, 2014. The Symposium will include two days of presentations, panel discussions and featuring the latest research and issues facing marine fisheries from the leaders in marine research, conservation, policy and user groups. Saturday, November 15 will feature the Guy Harvey Fisheries Festival, a fun-filled educational event showcasing the work being done by local organizations helping to conserve our marine resources and a "Green Gourmet", featuring samples of sustainable seafood recipes prepared by local chefs.

During the symposium, C-IMAGE scientists and Teacher at Sea Alumni will broadcast from the Weatherbird to meeting attendees, demonstrating the vessels ability for ship to shore teaching on future expeditions. C-IMAGE and CARTHE will both host booths on the Saturday "Discovery Village" event that is open to the public.

The next All Hands Meeting will be joined with the 2015 GoMRI Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference as in previous years. The meeting will be Friday, February 20, 2015 immediately following the GoMRI Conference.

Your C-IMAGE Administrative Team