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The DEEPEND team gearing up for our next adventure!

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After an odd year dealing with the pandemic, which resulted in one postponed research cruise, the DEEPEND team is gearing up for our first NOAA/RESTORE cruise later this month!  We are excited that we received funding through 2024 to continue our important midwater survey and associated projects.  We have a series of three cruises planned, with the first one going out on April 24th, 2021. We will be exploring the northern Gulf of Mexico using a midwater trawl and acoustic equipment to identify long-term trends in pelagic fish, shrimp, and squid abundance, and determine how observed trends relate to environmental changes and human pressure (e.g., pollution). The ultimate goal of the project is to provide information that can be used by resource managers to protect the natural resources of the Gulf.


The team will be leaving from Gulfport, MS, on the R/V Point Sur for 12 days and we are ready to get to work!  As in the past, we will have a shiptracker and a HYCOM oceanographic model running in real time to help guide our voyage.  We will also maintain a blog to document the various projects and discoveries throughout our journey.  These are all accessible on the home page of the DEEPEND website:   

If you want to read more about NOAA/RESTORE Science program, here is the link:

Looking forward to sharing our experience with you!



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Dr. Heather Judkins is an associate professor in the Integrative Biology Department at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She received a Bachelors degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, Masters degree in Science Education from Nova Southeastern University and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on understanding the evolution, ecology, and biogeography of cephalopods with a main focus currently in the Wider Caribbean. Her role in this project includes the identification of deep-sea cephalopods, examining genetic diversity, and analysis of cephalopod ecology and distribution in the water column.
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Guest Wednesday, 19 June 2024