Meet the Scientists

Edward Buskey

Edward Buskey

Institutions: University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI), University of Texas at Austin (UT), Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Dr. Buskey’s research interests in marine science have focused on studies of the behavioral ecology of marine zooplankton, and how sensory perception mediates behavioral adaptations for locating food resources, avoiding predators and finding mates.

Within the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, his laboratory runs the System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) that measures water quality at six stations within the reserve at 15-minute intervals.

Dr. Buskey is leading a consortium of six research institutions to study how physical processes and chemical dispersants break up crude oil patches in the sea, and the impacts of this dispersed oil on the base of the marine food web (bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton).

GoMRI-funded project:

Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS)

Education:

Ph.D. in Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

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Piers Chapman

Piers Chapman

Institution: Texas A&M University (TAMU)

Dr. Chapman trained as a marine chemist and has worked in the UK, South Africa, and in the Gulf of Mexico. He formerly ran the US Office for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment at Texas A&M University, and then the Coastal Restoration and Enhancement through Science and Technology Program (CREST) office at Louisiana State University, which provides funding for research into coastal habitat restoration. Presently, he is Professor and Head of the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. His interests are in marine chemistry, particularly the chemistry of low oxygen regions, and the use of chemical tracers in large-scale oceanography. He has published widely on various topics and is currently working on a NOAA-funded project on hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

GoMRI-funded project:

Gulf of Mexico Integrated Spill Response Consortium (GISR)

Education:

Ph.D. in Marine Chemistry, University of Wales, U.K.

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Eric Chassignet

Eric Chassignet

Institution: Florida State University (FSU)

Dr. Chassignet’s current area of research interest is on the role of the ocean in climate variability from the complementary perspectives of coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling and observations.

He is the director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), which strives to be a center of excellence that promotes interdisciplinary research in air-sea interaction, the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land-ice earth system and climate prediction on scales of weeks to decades, in order to increase our understanding of the physical, social and economical consequences of coupled ocean-atmospheric variations.

Dr. Chassignet is also part of a consortium funded by the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) to validate a Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) with data assimilation capabilities. The goal of this consortium is to address the principal objective of the U.S. Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE), namely the depiction of the three-dimensional ocean state in near-real time.

GoMRI-funded project:

Deepsea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (DEEP-C)

Education:

Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography, University of Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

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David Hollander

David Hollander

Institution: University of South Florida (USF)

Dr. Hollander’s research program focuses on evaluating the influence that anthropogenic and natural climate and environmental change have on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and other biolimiting elements in both modern and ancient lacustrine and marine settings. This research couples state-of-the-art analytical techniques in stable isotope and organic geochemistry in order to provide a detailed characterization of organic matter. The goals of his research are to understand how biological, chemical and physical processes in modern environments control the production, composition, alteration, decomposition and preservation of organic matter. The results of these studies in modern settings are applied to the analysis of ancient organic-rich sediments in order to reconstruct the environmental and climatic factors controlling the accumulation of organic matter throughout the geologic record.

GoMRI-funded project:

Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE)

Education:

Ph.D. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland

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Vijay John

Vijay John

Institution: Tulane University

Dr. John works in the highly interdisciplinary areas of lipid self-assembly, drug and vaccine delivery, and the development of nanostructured materials. The self-organization of amphiphilic molecules (such as biological lipids and synthetic surfactants) is essential in technologies as mundane as consumer detergent products and those of the future as in the development of structured, responsive nanomaterials. Biological membranes are ubiquitous examples of lipid-self assembly that impact the entire function of a cell.

Additionally, he is working on the development of technologies based on clathrate hydrates. These are inclusion compounds of gas and water where the water molecules form cage-like structures to encapsulate gas molecules. They have tremendous implications in natural gas recovery, processing and storage. Together with colleagues at Tulane, Hamilton College and Los Alamos National Laboratories, he is trying to exploit novel clathrate systems for use in hydrogen storage for next generation fuel-efficient vehicles.

GoMRI-funded project:

Consortium for the Molecular Engineering of Dispersant Systems (C-MEDS)

Education:

D.Eng.Sc., Columbia University, New York, New York, U.S.A.

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Samantha (Mandy) Joye

Samantha (Mandy) Joye

Institution: University of Georgia – Athens

Dr. Joye began her work on the microbiology and geochemistry of Gulf of Mexico cold seeps in 1994, first studying the process of aerobic methane oxidation and then turning her attention to the anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulfate reduction. Today, her work in the Gulf of Mexico examines the microbial inhabitants of gas hydrate and associated sediments as well as the microbial biogeochemistry of brine flows and mud volcanoes. Current projects focus on studying the distribution of archaea and bacteria and documenting rates of the anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulfate reduction in a variety of habitats at in situ pressure.

GoMRI-funded project:

Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf (ECOGIG)

Education:

Ph.D. in Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.

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Joseph Katz

Joseph Katz

Institution: Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Katz is the director and co-founder of the Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics (CEAFM) at JHU, and he manages the Laboratory for Experimental Fluid Dynamics, and the new Hopkins Heart Initiative. He also serves as the Chair, Board of Journal Editors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is a Fellow of ASME and of the American Physical Society (APS), as well as a JHU Gilman Scholar.

Dr. Katz research extends over a wide range of fields, with a common theme involving experimental fluid mechanics, and development of advanced optical diagnostics techniques for laboratory and field applications. His research groups has studied laboratory and oceanic boundary layers, flows in turbomachines, flow induced vibrations, behavior of marine plankton in the laboratory and in the ocean, as well as multiphase flows, including cavitation, bubble, and droplet dynamics in turbulent flows. He has co-authored more than 320 Journal and conference papers.

GoMRI-funded project:

Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS)

Education:

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

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Steven Murawski

Steven Murawski

Institution: University of South Florida (USF)

Dr. Murawski is a fisheries biologist and marine ecologist involved in understanding the impacts of human activities on the sustainability of ocean ecosystems. He has developed approaches for understanding the impacts of fishing on marine fish complexes exploited in mixed-species aggregations. Additionally, his work on impacts of marine protected areas and other management options has formed the scientific basis for regulation.

As a co-founder of the CAMEO (Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization) program – a jointly funded program among NOAA Fisheries and the National Science Foundation – he has supported analyses of marine ecosystems throughout the nation. His current areas of interest include understanding the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem in terms of multiple, simultaneous stressors through the application of integrated ecosystem assessments. Such assessments can help inform investments to rebuild the Gulf of Mexico from effects of the oil spill, loss of juvenile nursery areas, nutrient enrichment, overfishing and other factors. Additionally, he is working on applying advanced technology solutions to the next generation of marine ecosystem surveys.

In addition to his science activities, Dr. Murawski is a USA Delegate and currently a vice-president of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), a 20-nation organization dedicated to increasing understanding of ocean ecosystems in the convention area, which includes the United States, Canada and 18 European countries.

GoMRI-funded project:

Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE)

Education:

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

 

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Tamay Özgökmen

Tamay Özgökmen

Institution: University of Miami

Dr. Özgökmen’s research interest centers around the investigation of multi-scale oceanic flows using non-hydrostatic numerical models and Lagrangian methods.

GoMRI-funded project:

Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE)

Education:

Ph.D., Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

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William (Will) Patterson

William (Will) Patterson

Institutions: Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), University of South Alabama

Dr. Patterson is an Associate Professor at the Dauphin Island Sea lab, University of South Alabama. His research interests include population dynamics of marine and estuarine fishes with emphasis on processes affecting recruitment, connectivity among populations and life stage-specific habitat requirements of reef fishes.

GoMRI-funded project:

Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE Consortium)

Education:

Ph.D., University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.

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Nancy Rabalais

Nancy Rabalais

Institution: Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)

Dr. Rabalais is the Executive Director and a Professor with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). Her research interests include biological oceanography of continental shelf ecosystems influenced by large rivers, distribution and dynamics of hypoxic water masses, animal/sediment relationships, pelagic-benthic coupling, estuarine and benthic ecology, environmental effects of habitat alterations, effects of petroleum and chemical industries, eutrophication and effects of hypoxia.

GoMRI-funded projects:

Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC)

Education:

Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

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Christopher Reddy

Christopher Reddy

Institution: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)

Dr. Reddy has been the Director of the Coastal Ocean Institute at WHOI since 2008. His research focus is on applying and developing isotopic measurements for investigating the source, transport, and fate of organic contaminants in coastal and oceanic waters; chemical and physical interactions of organic contaminants with sedimentary organic matter; microbial degradation of persistent organic com-pounds; developing new analytical techniques for studying environmental chemistry; using organic geochemistry to solve problems in oceanography.

He teaches a course at WHOI and gives workshops for graduate and postdoctoral students on communicating science to non-scientist audiences. Dr. Reddy has published more than 140 manuscripts, two book chapters, and holds one patent.

GoMRI-funded projects:

Deepsea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (DEEP-C)

Education:

Ph.D., Chemical Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

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Charles (Geoffrey) Wheat

Charles (Geoffrey) Wheat

Institutions: University of Mississippi, University of Alaska at Fairbanks

Dr. Wheat uses chemical tracers to understand water-rock reactions in different physical, geochemical, and biological settings, examine effects of fluid flow on diagenetic processes and develop transport- reaction models for these geochemical processes, determine mechanisms of diagenetic reactions, evaluate geochemical cycles and crustal evolution, and conceive experimental approaches to solve geochemical problems.

During the past decade much of his research effort has centered on understanding problems associated with fluid circulation through the oceanic crust; circulation caused by the intrusion of basaltic magma on mid-ocean ridges, differential lithospheric cooling on mid-ocean ridge flanks, compression along zones of subduction, and differences in head gradient on continental shelves and margins.

GoMRI-funded project:

Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf (ECOGIG)

Education:

Ph.D. in Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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