DEEPEND|RESTORE is a 47-member, 11-institution research program funded by NOAA's RESTORE Science Program that expands upon the decade-long (2010-2020), open-ocean Gulf of Mexico research conducted during the NOAA-supported Offshore Nekton Sampling and Analysis Program (ONSAP) and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative-funded Deep-Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico (DEEPEND) Consortium. This project aims to identify/quantify long-term trends in the offshore fauna (fishes, shrimps, and cephalopods) of the Gulf of Mexico. Further, DEEPEND will integrate this information with ongoing resource management in the Gulf of Mexico. This management includes economically and ecologically important pelagic fishes as well as marine mammals, sea birds, and sea turtles. In addition to baseline assessments, DEEPEND will identify key drivers of offshore assemblages, develop an ‘indicator species plan’ for detecting anthropogenic changes, and assemble a faunal inventory for the oceanic Gulf of Mexico. To learn more about our mission, team, research, products, and management applications, please dive into the rest of the DEEPEND|RESTORE website. 


Special Issue of Oceanography magazine

14 July 2021
Special Issue of Oceanography magazine

DEEPEND is so pleased to share this special issue of Oceanography magazine dedicated to ten years of GoMRI science! You can access the electronic version of the issue here. The issue is the culminati...

DEEPEND Compendium - Deep Pelagic Ecosystem Dynamics in a Highly Impacted Water Column: The Gulf of Mexico After Deepwater Horizon

10 March 2021
DEEPEND Compendium - Deep Pelagic Ecosystem Dynamics in a Highly Impacted Water Column: The Gulf of Mexico After Deepwater Horizon

The DEEPEND team, led by Tracey Sutton and his co-editors, have completed a compendium of 14 papers published in Frontiers in Marine Science that highlight their findings related to the Deepwater Hor...

DEEPEND scientist to give NOAA webinar: The open ocean Gulf of Mexico: what have we learned about this remarkable pelagic ecosystem?

09 October 2020
DEEPEND scientist to give NOAA webinar: The open ocean Gulf of Mexico: what have we learned about this remarkable pelagic ecosystem?

DEEPEND-RESTORE Director and Scientist Dr. Tracey Sutton will give a NOAA webinar on October 27th and 12:00PM EST titled: "DEEPEND scientist to give NOAA Seminar: The open ocean Gulf of Mexico: what h...

Nova Southeastern University kicked off the conference program for the year by hosting a two-day Graduate Student Symposium, which featured seven great talks from DEEPEND’s principle investigators and graduate students. Presentations included: genomic analysis of microbial symbionts found in deep-sea in anglerfish lures and in the water column of the Gulf of Mexico (Lopez et al.), the trophic ecology of a bathypelagic fish family (tubeshoulders, Novotny et al.), ingestion of microplastics by deep-pelagic animals (Bos et al.), the relationship between parasites and size, species, and behaviour of deep-pelagic fishes (Woodstock et al.), the distribution of larval tuna (Pruzinsky et al.) with respect to oceanographic features; the dramatic declines in pelagic fishes (Sutton et al.) and crustaceans (Nichols et al.) in the Gulf after Deepwater Horizon, and classifying pelagic habitat features in the Gulf of Mexico (Johnston et al.)

In February DEEPEND researchers from multiple institutions presented research findings at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GOMOSES) in New Orleans, LA, and at AGU/ASLO/TOS Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, OR. 

The aim of the GOMOSES meeting is to bring together a diverse range of researchers from all disciplines who are working on understanding the biological, chemical and physical processes that operate in the Gulf of Mexico. DEEPEND was well-represented, with 11 presentations. Heather Bracken-Grissom and Laura Timm presented work on the genetic connectivity of crustaceans in the Gulf of Mexico with surrounding regions. Heather Judkins and Kris Clark presented their work describing the distributions and diversity of pelagic molluscs (squids and heteropods, respectively). Regarding fishes, presentations described dramatic declines in abundances of deep-pelagic fishes after Deepwater Horizon (Sutton et al.),  biophysical coupling in a dominant mesopelagic fish family (lanternfishes; Milligan et al.), and pelagic habitat use by important coastal fishes (snappers/groupers; Velez et al.). Physical oceanographic presentations included work on frontal densities (Hu et al.), methods to track the Mississippi River plumes using satellite measurements (Hu & Le), and a newly developed method to classify pelagic habitat features in the GoM (Johnston et al.). 

After the GOMOSES meeting, we were straight on a plane to Portland and the Ocean Sciences Meeting, where (despite an unfortunate outbreak of the flu), the DEEPEND team gave another eight presentations. These included talks describing the ecology of deep-living fishes (see above), and an assessment hydrocarbon contaminants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in mesopelagic animals after Deepwater Horizon (Romero et al.). DEEPEND members presented posters describing how microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are influenced by diel vertical migrations (Easson et al.), how the assemblage of Oplophorid shrimps has changed since the oil spill (Nichols et al.), habitat classification (Johnston et al.), and the great successes of DEEPEND’s educational outreach program (Musgrave et al.).

To round out our program of talks, DEEPEND’s lead scientist, Tracey Sutton, and DEEPEND’s data manger, Matthew Johnston, gave invited lectures at  NSU’s Distinguished Lecture Series.  Tracey presented some of his recent work describing the global importance and structure of the deep-pelagic biome to faculty and students and Matt lectured on data visualization and interpretation.