The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem

A tale of two Gulf spills: A research consortium of 19 institutions from 5 countries studying the impacts of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.

  • USF

    The University of South Florida-College of Marine Science is the host institution of C-IMAGE. USF researchers study sedimentary deposition, marine oiled snow, fishery health, ecotoxicology, and ecosystem modeling.
    Associated Tasks: 3, 4, 5 & 6

  • UM

    The Paris lab at the University of Miami creates virtual oil spills using computational models. Her lab's work with the Connectivity Modeling System (CMS) estimates the concentrations and fates of oils following a sub-sea blowout.
    Associated Task: 1

  • TAMU

    The Socolofsky lab developed the Texas A&M Oil Spill Calculator to model oil and gas directly from a deep-sea well (near-field). The model is combined with the Connectivity Modeling System to provide a fullly coupled oil spill model.
    Associated Task: 1

  • UWA

    The Sapphire Autoclave is used to pressurize and emulsify oils to observe their droplet size distributions. Dr. Zachary Aman's lab also works with high pressure experiments to form gas hydrates on oil droplets.
    Associated Tasks: 1 & 2

  • NHL

    The goal of the Department of Maritime, Marine, Environment & Safety management is to perform high quality research in the field of oil and chemical spill response that has practical application.
    Associated Tasks: 1

  • TUHH

    The Hamburg University of Technology uses high pressure experimentation to understand (1) the influence of methane-charged "live oil" on droplet size distributions, and (2) bacterial biodegradation rates of oil and methane.
    Associated Task: 2

  • Calgary

    The PRG studies the partitioning behaviors of BTEX compounds as oil rises. Analytical facilities are equiped with instruments to measure low-molecular weight compounds in oil (e.g. FTICR-MS)
    Associated Tasks: 2 & 3

  • GT

    The Kostka lab at Georgia Tech studies the microbial genetics of oil degrading bacteria from beaches and deep-sea environments, and anaerobic bacteria.
    Associated Task: 2 & 3

  • Eckerd

    Eckerd labs play an important role in analyzing the deposition and chemistry of Gulf of Mexico sediments. Trace metal analysis of sediment pore water and short-lived radioisotopes (210Pb, 137Cs, 7Be, and 234Th) characterize the rate and toxicity of oil sedimentation.
    Associated Task: 3

  • FSU

    Jeff Chanton studies changes in 13C and 14C isotope rations in the sediments and water across the Gulf of Mexico. The changes in the carbon cycle indicate how communities respond and recover following oil spills.
    Associated Task: 3

  • PSU

    Penn State brings the capability of molecular organic geochemistry and stable isotope analysis of natural materials from waters and sediments. We compare microbial communities and oil degradation rates at different depths or ocean basins.
    Associated Task: 3

  • WUR

    Wageningen University studies the effects of oil on benthic organisms using mesocsom experiments combining oil, dispersants, and marine snow to connect their laboratory experiments with field observations across C-IMAGE.
    Associated Task: 3 & 5

  • TAMUCC

    The Harte Research Institute studies the benthic mieo- and macrofauna in Gulf sediments (Montagna Lab), and genomic variability of lab and field exposed fishes (Portnoy Lab).
    Associated Task: 3, 4 & 5

  • UNAM

    Studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México are studying the foraminiferal communities and tissue histology of fishes from the southern Gulf of Mexico near the Ixtoc I well.
    Associated Task: 3 & 4

  • UCSD

    Kait Frasier and John Hildebrand analyze acoustic data from Gulf marine mammals to track their movements and changes to their home range following oil spills.
    Associated Task: 4

  • UF

    Using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and diver surveys, the Patterson lab studies trophic level changes on natural and artificial reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico, especially the influence of Lionfish on the northern Gulf reefs.
    Associated Task: 4

  • Mote

    The Mote Aquaculture Park is the home of the Task 5 exposure trials to understand the immune and genetic systems respond to oil exposure. Three fish species and three exposure vectors are used to connect field observations with lab results.
    Associated Task: 5

  • UWF

    The Jeffrey lab studies marine microbial ecology. This includes analysis of microbial growth rates, production, microzooplankton analysis, and molecular analysis of microbial community structure and function.
    Associated Task: 5

  • VIMS

    The Snyder lab studies microbial ecology particularly eukaryotic microbes, from basic explorations of microbial diversity to applied aspects related to biofilm formation, water quality, disease, and response to pollutants.
    Associated Task: 5

Podcasts from The Loop

The Loop is a series of podcasts which take an in depth look at C-IMAGE research. Partnering with Mind Open Media reporters Ari Daniel Shapiro and David Levin, our researchers share the importance of their studies and how they help our understanding of oil spills. David and Ari have produced eight podcasts and have more in the queue. The podcasts are linked below. Plug in and learn about our research!

Listen to More Podcasts!