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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

CEDB is participating in two research consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative funded by BP following the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and well failure during the summer of 2010.

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Spatial and temporal stability and change in microbial communities of the Florida Panhandle Bight Shelf and head of DeSoto Canyon. Response of microbial assemblages to water mass mixing and seasonal change.

This study continues sampling initiated as the BPBM (BP Bight Me) Cruises conducted under the Coastwatch project made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative through the Florida Institute of Oceanography covering three shelf transects January 2011 through Spring 2012 at near monthly frequency and continues on a quarterly basis with DEEP-C. Eubacteria, Archeabacteria, primary production, and microzooplankton are being characterized as key elements of productivity of the region. Hydrographic and water nutrient chemistry data are also being collected.

List of parameters measured and access cruise data (link).

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Microbial community characterization of deep Gulf of Mexico sediments. Sediments and near-bottom water overlying core samples are being analyzed for community structure of Eubacteria, Archeabacteria, Ciliata and Foraminifera. Hydrocarbon degraders and surfactant producing bacteria are being isolated and characterized.