Samantha Joye's tireless work in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the 2010 Macondo well blowout will continue thanks to a major new support stream:
Joye has received a new grant to continue its studies of natural oil seeps and to track the impacts of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
The project, known as ECOGIG-2 or "Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf," is a collaborative, multi-institutional effort involving biological, chemical, geological and chemical oceanographers. The research team has worked in the Gulf since the weeks following the 2010 Macondo well blowout.
The three-year, $18.8 million dollar ECOGIG-2 program was funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, or GoMRI.
"I am so thrilled that the ECOGIG-2 research program was selected for funding by the GoMRI research board," said Joye, the UGA Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences and a professor of marine sciences. "Our work will explore the basics of oil and gas cycling at natural seeps, discern the impacts of chemical dispersants on microbial populations and their activity and on the fate of discharged hydrocarbons, use sophisticated instrumentation and physical and biogeochemical models to track hydrocarbon transport and continue to document recovery of deep-water ecosystems from the Macondo blowout."
Congratulations to Joye and her colleagues. So many facets to this work, which will produce a better understanding of natural and not-so-natural hydrocarbon discharges into marine ecosystems. With energy exploration and regional economies interconnected perhaps as never before, Joye's research focus and expertise continue to play a crucial role in policy debates that try to reconcile the common interests of the two.
Image: Samantha Joye aboard a research vessel Atlantis, courtesy the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiaitive