May 04, 2015
A research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the EV 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.
Corals were collected for laboratory experiments and for analyses of coral and microbe response to natural oil seepage. Corals that Dr. Cordes' group has been following over the last 4 years were re-imaged and some were collected for laboratory experiments and for analyses of coral and microbe response to natural seepage. The team returned to a number of sites where they have documented impacts of the oil spill to deepwater corals and continued their monitoring of these sites. The 2015 ECOGIG cruise aboard the EV Nautilus is a continuation of a 3-year partnership with OET (Ocean Exploration Trust) to study the ecosystem-level response to oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico- to learn more, check out this interview with Dr. Cordes about the impacts of oil on deepwater ecosystems.