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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

NSU scientists receive BP money to research oil spill’s impact

NSU is using part of a $10 million block grant from BP to conduct research on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s impact on the marine ecosystem. NSU’s Oceanographic Center (OC) is one of several educational institutions in Florida selected to work on 27 research projects that are investigating the oil’s impact on the Gulf’s ecosystem and marine life. The projects were selected this month by the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO), a consortium of 20 educational institutions throughout the state.

OC researchers are collaborating with other universities on four projects. These projects are among the 27 selected by FIO from the 233 proposals its members submitted. OC researchers Jose Lopez, Ph.D., associate professor; and David Kerstetter, Ph.D., research scientist; are principal investigators on two of the projects. Two other OC researchers are co-investigators on two additional projects. The researchers are Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D., professor and director of the OC’s Guy Harvey Research Institute; and Jim Thomas, Ph.D., OC professor.

“Given the magnitude and seriousness of the Deepwater Horizon spill, I’m very pleased that NSU researchers have had successful proposals funded by the BP block grant,” said Richard E. Dodge, Ph.D. OC dean and executive director of NSU’s National Coral Reef Institute. Dodge added: “We are making concerted efforts to better understand potential and actual impacts to our economically and biologically valuable marine ecosystems, so that we can be better prepared when spills reoccur.”

The NSU research projects include:

1) Assessing the impacts of oil exposure to marine life in the deep sea areas of the Gulf of Mexico.  Particular attention will be given to sharks and scavengers as top and bottom feeders to gage the effects.

2) Periodic evaluation of offshore fish communities to understand the effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill on their feeding habits and amount of contaminants in their tissue.

3) Measuring the current oil spill’s impact on marine sponge and microbe communities. This study will use sophisticated DNA and microbial analysis to determine results.

4) Analysis of the coral-sponge communities of the West Florida shelf to establish current conditions and to evaluate changes as a result of the spill.