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 time-series since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, while also collecting oceanographic data, acoustic data, and water samples. During this cruise, we should encounter a well-defined cyclonic eddy (or “ring”) at our offshore stations, which will allow us to study an important driver of pelagic community structure. Tissues from various deep-pelagic taxa will be collected to measure environmental contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are found in crude oil. Our genetics team will be collecting water samples from the deep scattering layer to run environmental DNA analyses to see how it compares to our net catches. We will also collect deep-living fishes from different taxonomic groups to sequence and assemble their whole genomes at high resolution, chromosomal-level. The goal is to understand the interesting evolutionary adaptations that allow these species to live in extreme conditions of cold, high pressure and darkness in the deep sea. While at sea, the team will be keeping an eye out for seabirds, turtles, and mammals. After the cruise is over, we will package our findings into information that can be used by Gulf resource managers and stakeholders. Our ship tracker will be up and running and we will be blogging throughout the cruise, so come back to visit the website often these next couple weeks!
A Puzzle with Missing Pieces: Marine Mammals in the Gulf
Marine mammals are still being impacted by Deepwater Horizon as well as other threats. Scientists and managers are working to conserve them.
Read the full story here