New Scientific Research to be Released at 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference

Over 1,000 Scientific Experts Expected in Houston, Texas

WASHINGTON--()--Did the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill impact food webs? How would the Northeast Atlantic respond in the event of a deep water oil spill? Do chemical dispersants affect microbial degradation of hydrocarbons? What are the characteristics of airborne oil droplets? Answers to these questions, and many more, will be discussed at the 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, where oil spill-related experts from academia, state & federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and industry, will highlight oil spill and ecosystem science research from February 16-19, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

During the four-day Conference, there will be 19 scientific sessions with 270 oral presentations and 240 poster presentations. Overall session topics include:

  • Dispersant-oil chemistry, impacts and interactions
  • New dispersant technologies and improved response tools
  • Oil behavior under deep blow-out and high pressure
  • Microbial ecosystems
  • Data management, modeling and decision making
  • Impacts on benthic communities, coastal ecosystems and ecological processes
  • Public health and socio-economics

During session #006, Emerging Ecological Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Evaluating Ecosystem Change and Resiliency, one presentation will reveal the chronic effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on reef fish as well as the evidence of surprising resiliency.

A presentation during session #007, Making a Living on Hydrocarbons: Diversity, Metabolic Potential, and Regulation of Microbial Hydrocarbon Oxidation, will divulge how oil degrading microbial communities in the Northeast Atlantic would respond in the event of a deep water oil spill. Authors of another presentation plan to discuss how their study results will help inform the general understanding of how chemical dispersants affect rates of microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in Gulf surface waters.

In session #008, Air-Sea Interactions and Oil Spills: Progression from Semi-Empirical to Physics-Base Models, one group of scientists will present findings that will provide quantitative data and statistics that are essential for the modeling of aerosolization of oil slicks by rainfall and the associated health concerns.

During session #011, Improving Tools for Marine Oil Spill Response: Lessons Learned and Applied, a presentation will contain a realistic visualization rendering technique to trace the evolution of oil well blowouts, which could influence possible future first response efforts.

A searchable database of all abstracts for oral and poster presentations as well as the full Conference schedule is available online here.

The Conference Keynote presentation will be given by Dr. Richard W. Spinrad, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chief Scientist, on Tuesday, February 17 at 8:30 a.m. CST. This will be followed by a special Plenary Session where the Principle Investigators of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s eight RFP-I Consortia will give Conference attendees a summary of their respective findings from the past three years. Several associated events and workshops will also be held throughout the Conference. For a full list, click here. The Closing Plenary, which will summarize the key findings presented during all of the sessions at the Conference, with an emphasis on Where do we go next?, will take place on Thursday, February 19 at 1:30 p.m. CST.

The registration fee will be waived for credentialed members of the media. Please send your contact information (name, media outlet, email, and phone) to Kristin Kracke and she will send you details on how to complete your complimentary registration online. Online registration will close on February 6, 2015.

For more information, visit the Conference website and follow the Conference on Facebook and Twitter (#gulfscienceconference).


2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference
Kristin Kracke, 202-787-1644