November 2015 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

Out bi-monthly newsletter highlights achievements from September and October. Including new publications, honors for significant ones, a completed field season and looks forward to the fall months. 
Quarter 3 Activity Reports:
C-IMAGE I & II Activity reports were submitted this past month. Thank you all for the contributions!

Conference Calls:
GoMRI PI Call-2 October, 2015:
Updated other GoMRI consortia of C-IMAGE activities included completing three sediment and fishing cruises, Harte Research Institute artificial & natural reef surveys, Dauphin Island Sea Lab fishing and ROV efforts, and Mote Marine Lab exposure study progress.
GoMRI Outreach Call-18 August, 2015:
Highlighted C-IMAGE's Field Season schedule, three former Teachers at Sea presenting at the Florida Marine Science Educators Association conference, and new 
C-IMAGE Spotlight videos, available on  YouTube.
Task 3 Update-Oil in Sediments and Degradation, 3 November, 2015:
C-IMAGE Chief Scientist and Task 3 Lead, David Hollander, summarized the work of all the 10 partners within Oil in Sediments & Degradation. Field Activities, recent MOSSFA findings, sedimentary oil deposition, oil fingerprinting, microbial communities, and microfaunal communities were covered during the call Call notes and recordings will be made available in the coming days and emailed.
Data Compliance Calls-Ongoing:
In response to a memorandum released by GRIID-C, the C-IMAGE data team is scheduling phone calls with consortium PIs to clarify data requirements going into C-IMAGE II. Initial data set DIFs are due to the data team by 30 Nov.
With questions regarding data compliance or entry, please contact  Richard McKenzie or  Todd Chavez.

Upcoming Calls:
Task 4-Environmental Impacts
Tue, 1 Dec, 2015 Time: 9:00-10:00a EST (2:00-3:00a GMT)

2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference - Tampa, FL
1-4 February, 2016

Registration Deadlines (Registration Page):
Early Registration - 20 November, 2015
Online Registration - 24 January, 2016

Conference Lodging & Hotel Rooms:
The conference has two hotels with conference rates available, the Marriot Waterside Tampa and Westin Tampa Harbor ( Conference Accommodations Webpage).

Lodging near Tampa AirportThe Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Airport
Lodging in St. Petersburg (for the following weekend): The Hollander Hotel, The Courtyard Marriott.

C-IMAGE  All-Hands Meeting-Friday, 5 February:
The annual All-Hands meeting is scheduled for Friday, 5 February at the Marriott Waterside Tampa. The meeting will end at 5:30p and be followed by a dinner at David Hollander's house in Gulfport, FL (transportation will be provided). An agenda for the All-Hands meeting is being drafted now.

Visit our webpage for All-Hands Registration. Click here to complete registration.

Contact Ben Prueitt with any questions regarding lodging or conference planning.
2015 Summer Field Season a Scientific Success
Return to Ixtoc Crew,  B/O Justo Sierra , Southern Gulf Sediment Coring
Mud & Blood Crew,  R/V Weatherbird II
Southern Gulf Fish Survey Crew,  R/V Weatherbird II  
TAMU-CC & Dauphin Island Sea Lab use ROVs and vertical longline fishing to study fish communities off the coasts of Texas and Alabama.
Busy Summer pays off for C-IMAGE research
The completion of 11 individual cruises studying fish populations and toxicology, sediments, plankton, and deep-sea microbes was an ambitious goal for Year 1 of C-IMAGE II. A very sincere thank you to all who made this summer's research possible! Below is a summary of completed field sampling:

Sediment Coring Cruises:
Utilizing the B/O Justo Sierra (UNAM) in the southern Gulf of Mexico, and the R/V Weatherbird II (FIO) in the northern Gulf, researchers from eight institutions (USF-College of Marine Science, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, University of Calgary, Georgia Tech, Eckerd College, Penn State University, and Florida State University) collected sediment cores from 70 locations in the Gulf.
Cores are being analyzed to understand the impacts of oil spills on macro infauna and invertebrates, microbial communities, sedimentology and geochronology, stable isotope geochemistry, and ecosystem services.
Initial results from both sediment cruises will be presented at the 2016 GoMOSES conference in Tampa, FL.

Weatherbird Fishing Cruises:
Researchers and students from USF-College of Marine Science and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi spent time demersal (bottom) longline fishing to collect target species associated with oil exposure (Red Snapper, Golden Tilefish, Grouper, and Southern Hake).
Tissues taken from the fish included muscle tissue, liver, spleen, eyes, gills, otiliths, fin clips, blood (serum & plasma), and bile to be used in genomic studies, stock health assessment and PAH compound concentrations.
This summer, researchers collected 715 fish in the southern Gulf of Mexico translating to over 4,800 tissue or blood samples, over 400 ichthyological photos, and 22 plankton samples along the longest Gulf axis W to E. 

Fishery Abundance off Texas & Alabama Coasts:
C-IMAGE members from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Dauphin Island Sea Lab independently surveyed fisheries off the Texas and Alabama coasts using vertical long lines and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), respectively.

The Stunz lab (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi/Harte Research Institute) conducted two sampling trips on 11 & 12 August. The 11 August trip was a vertical longline survey of one artificial reef, one standing rig, and one natural bank 30-50 miles off the coast of Port Aransas. A total of 148 fish were caught for fisheries population data. On 12 August, two artificial reefs and one standing rig were sampled using vertical longline gear. A total of 121 fish were caught

The Patterson lab (Dauphin Island Sea Lab, DISL) conducted ROV sampling at 29 artificial and 16 natural reef sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico. All video has been analyzed for community and size structure estimates.

Our blog kept track of the researchers as they studied the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico, and you can read about their experiences in our C-IMAGE Blog.

A photo gallery of all cruises are available View my photos on flickr.
Research Spotlight - Dr. Joel Kostka, Georgia Institute of Technology
Previous newsletters have highlighted research from some of our newest partners, Texas A& M-Corpus Christi and the  Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. This November newsletter highlights the research of Joel Kostka's lab at Georgia Tech.

The lab's addition not only raises the average height of C-IMAGE by several inches (Kostka and other lab members are well over 6ft (1.8m)!), they also bring critical questions and interest in microbial communities to the consortium.

David Hollander and Joel Kostka discuss core processing on the  B/O Justo Sierra. (Photo:Devon Firesinger)
Kostka's lab is investigating the impacts of temperature, pressure, and nutrient availability on the rates and pathways of microbial hydrocarbon degradation. He and his three PhD students specifically study (1) microbes in anaerobic environments, (2) genomics and metabolic pathways of oil-degrading microbes in sediments, and (3) the response of microorganisms to elevated hydrocarbon concentrations.

This past summer, all of our Georgia Tech members participated in a research cruise. Kostka and PhD student Will Overholt traveled to Mexico to assist sediment coring aboard the B/O Justo Sierra, PhD student Boryoung Shin worked both legs of the Mud & Blood expedition, and Xiaoxu Sun embarked on a month-long arctic expedition aboard Amundsen studying hydrocarbon degradation at low temperature and pressure.

Aprami Jaggi and Boryoung Shin share a laugh while extruding a core. (Photo: Elizabeth Herdter)
Looking forward, Joel's lab began mesocosm experiments using water and sediments from the Gulf of Mexico to study microbial activities in sediments at near to in situ conditions. Preliminary experiments were conducted to quantify microbial respiration rates and nutrient fluxes in the presence and absence of Macondo oil.

At the 2016 GoMOSES conference, Joel will co-chair the session entitled:
Oceanographic Controls of Oil Transport and Microbial Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in the Water Column: from the Surface to the Deepsea with a Annalisa Bracco of ECOGIG.
C-IMAGE Students of the Month
October 2015
Nine Hendrickson, M.S. Student, University of West Florida, Center for Environmental Diagnosis and Bioremediation

Nine studies the distribution of microbes in Gulf of Mexico waters studying with Wade Jeffery and Richard Snyder.  The implications of Nine's work - mapping  microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico determining driving factors for their populations - makes her our C-IMAGE student of the month for October.
Nine Hendrickson, a M.S. student at UWF studies microbe distribution in the Gulf of Mexico.

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

November 2015
Jennifer Granneman, PhD Student, University of South Florida-College of Marine Science
Jennifer Granneman uses a lathe to shave otiliths for her studies.
Tracking fish throughout their life cycle has improved tremendously over the past decades thanks to advancements in isotope chemistry and natural fish tags. Jennifer Granneman studies the otiliths (ear bones) of fish to see if their exposure to pollutants like oil occurred following the Deepwater Horizon spill. Jen is a PhD student at the University of South Florida-College of Marine Science, and is the C-IMAGE Student of the Month for November.

We asked Jen several questions about her past academic career and path into her PhD research, and here experience using lasers. Her full student of the month article can be found here.
A recent publication from Wageningen University in the Netherlands performed a meta-analysis of large oil spills to determine if a MOSSFA brought oil to the sea floor in other oil spills.

During Deepwater Horizon, 9.1% of oil from the well head settled on the ocean floor and was in constant contact with sediments. This roughly 10% made it to the seafloor was through mucus-rich marine snow sinking to the seafloor and collecting oil droplets and clay materials during its descent. When this marine snow carries oil to the seafloor it is known as a MOSSFA event (Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation).

This paper analyzed data from 52 other oil spills to see if a MOSSFA would have occurred in other spills using these conditions: dispersant application, clay materials in the water (originating from the seafloor), and presence of mucus-like substances from oil-degrading bacteria and phytoplankton.

Using the Deepwater Horizon and Ixtoc-I events as a baseline for MOSSFA conditions, the authors estimate a MOSSFA in 15 of 52 studied spills.

The authors recommend MOSSFA be considered in the overall environmental efforts following a spill. Does oil on the seafloor contribute to similar habitat loss as oil on coastlines?  The full article can be read here .

Vonk, S.M., et al., Was the extreme and wide-spread marine oil-snow sedimentation and flocculent accumulation (MOSSFA) event during the Deepwater Horizon..., Marine Pollution Bulletin (2015),
C-IMAGE: Reaching Out in the Community....
2015 St. Petersburg Science Festival
Hosted annually, the St. Petersburg Science Fair brings more than 25,000 people together to the USF-St. Petersburg campus for a Saturday filled with everything Science. This year Murawski's Minions highlighted C-IMAGE research with Play-Doh coring and Ecotoxicology coloring activities. 
A constant stream of attendees at our C-IMAGE booth on a beautiful fall Saturday. 

The multicore was on display next to the coring activity to give attendees a look at how the coring device works, and the process of selecting sampling locations to find sedimented oil. Booth visitors went home with a bookmark about drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and a C-IMAGE sticker. If you would like copies of these  outreach bookmarks and stickers, please contact Ben Prueitt.

The Science Fair updated their twitter account throughout the event. 

Dr. Steve Murawski went full Minion for the St. Petersburg Science Fair.
Big Blue Live Screening
The nationwide screening of Big Blue Live by PBS included a marine biology panel at the Tampa Theatre on 2 September, 2015. C-IMAGE informed attendees about how forams are used to understand ocean sediments, what an fish otilith is, and the summer expeditions into the Gulf of Mexico.

Ben Prueitt explains how C-IMAGE uses forams to study ocean basins and oil spills

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.
Represented at the 27th IMOG Conference in Prague
The 27th International Meeting on Organic Chemistry (IMOG), 13-18 September in Prague, Czech Republic was represented by two C-IMAGE institutions, Penn State University and the University of Calgary.

Dr. Sara Lincoln, Penn State University, gave an oral presentation S .A. Lincoln, D.J. Hollander, K.H. Freeman,  Marine snow and methanotrophy: Microbial responses and hydrocarbon sedimentation following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Dr. Jagos Radovic, University of Calgary, presented a poster  J.R. Radovic, R.C. Silva, T.B.P. Oldenburg, S.R. Larter, Comprehensive screening of geochemical proxies using RADAR mode FTICR-MS, and was an author to an oral presentation R.C. Silva, J.R. Radović, G. Gonzalez-Arismendi, D. Derksen, C. Jiang, S. Larter, T.B.P. Oldenburg, Novel Geochemical Markers From Ultrahigh Resolution Mass Spectrometry.
Environmental Science & Technology honors  Chanton et al. (2015)

Environmental Science & Technology recently published Most Significant Papers in the past 18 months. Of the ten selected, Dr. Jeff Chanton and colleague's work was placed within this distinct category. 

Chanton, J., Zhao, T., Rosenheim, B. E., Joye, S., Bosman, S., Brunner, C., et al. (2015). Using Natural Abundance Radiocarbon To Trace the Flux of Petrocarbon to the Seafloor Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Environ. Sci. Technol., 49(2), 847-854.

The findings from this study gave a best estimate of 1.8-14.4% of oil reached the sea floor following Deepwater Horizon, determined through radiocarbon levels and carbon flux in sediments.

Congratulations to the Authors of this fantastic work!

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 BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, C-IMAGE "
"This research was made possible in part by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, C-IMAGE, and in part by [other sources]."

Additionally, before submitting any manuscript for publication, verify with the data team ( Richard McKenzie & Todd Chavez) that GRIID-C has the data in place. 
News Articles
Deep thinker: UM oceanographer also a champion free diver  - Miami Herald  - 31 Octobe r, 2015

Environmental Science & Technology's most significant papers in the last 18 months - features Chanton et al. (2014) Using Natural Abundance Radiocarbon To Trace the Flux of Petrocarbon to the Seafloor Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

GoMRI eNews  - 20 October, 2015

U.S., BP Finalize $20.8 Billion Deepwater Oil Spill Settlement - Wall Street Journal - 5 October, 2015

GoMRI eNews - 22 September, 2015

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