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. 

Ocean Twilight Zone symposium

15 September 2023
Ocean Twilight Zone symposium

Some of the DEEPEND team members attended the Ocean Twilight Zone symposium at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution this week. Tracey Sutton, Heather Judkins, Zan Milligan, and Matt Woodstock pre...

Another Successful DEEPEND/RESTORE cruise in the books

18 July 2023
Another Successful DEEPEND/RESTORE cruise in the books

We completed our DP09 cruise successfully, returning to port on May 12th. The weather and gear cooperated, allowing us to get our full complement of stations and tows completed! This was the last crui...

Next research cruise DP09 departs on May 2nd

28 April 2023
Next research cruise DP09 departs on May 2nd

Our DEEPEND team is preparing for our next research cruise, which will set sail from Gulfport, MS on May 2, and last 11 days. We will continue to sample the deep-pelagic offshore fauna as part of our...

Andrew Goeppner

My research interests revolve around the conservation of species and ecosystems. By building upon our knowledge and understanding of the deep sea, we are better preparing ourselves to preserve the ecosystem and the creatures that call it home

Hannah Johnson

I am interested in the reproductive ecology amongst deep-sea fishes. For my Master’s thesis, I will be focusing on reproduction of a deep-sea genus fish known as Chiasmodon (Scombriformes; Chiasmodontidae). I will be researching aspects of reproduction including separation of sexes (i.e. potential hermaphroditism), size at maturity, spawning frequency/timing, and gonad development. . Throughout the duration of my Master’s, I will be working as the Laboratory Manager and Research Associate under Dr. Tracey Sutton. I attended Providence College where I received my undergraduate degree and studied under Dr. John H. Costello focusing on the biomechanics of various animals. I was able to speak at a conference during my time at Providence in which I presented my research on the bio-fluid interactions of animal propulsors.


Lederer E., Johnson H., & Costello, J.H. (2017). Bio-Fluid Interactions of Flexible Animal Propulsors. 10th Annual Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Conference, RI SURF, Conference conducted in Rhode Island, July 2017, MES-4 (A), pp. 57.

Kathryn Lim

I am interested in the types of gear and tools used to study the ocean. Specifically, different style and sizes of nets used for trawling. My thesis project is on the trophic ecology of Scombrolabrax heterolepis, an intermediate predator that is caught primarily by large midwater trawls.




Travis Kirk

I am interested in the trophic ecology amongst deep-sea fishes. My Master's thesis project will be looking at the diet of a deep-sea genus fish known as, Chiasmodon (Scombriformes; Chiasmodontidae). I will be conducting a trophic study using stomach content analysis aiming to answer the questions of what, when/where, and how often these fish feed in the Gulf of Mexico. During my undergraduate studies, I was involved in herpetology research under Dr. Sean Sterrett, involving diet studies and population surveys of local freshwater turtles, along with the habitat distributions of various salamander species. I am also a co-author on a published paper, describing a shift in the diet of the Barbour's Map turtle after the introduction of an invasive bivalve.

Publications: Sterrett, S.C., Kirk, T.J., and L.L. Smith. 2020. Evidence of a dietary shift in female Barbour's Map turtle (Graptemys barbouri) to exploit and exotic mollusk. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. Special Issue on Graptemys Biology. doi: 10.2744/CCB-1431.1.




Devynne Brown

I am interested in the processes of bioluminescence and the luminescent capabilities of various deep-sea organisms including fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. I will be studying light output of luminescent fishes and other deep-water fauna, the distribution of these light sources throughout the water column, and exactly what organs or adaptations these marine organisms utilize to glow! My other interests (and experiences) revolve around sea turtle conservation and the anthropogenic stress inflicted on seagrasses using stable isotope analysis. I received my undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where I also was a member of the cheerleading squad all four years.