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Deep-Pelagic Research in the Gulf of Mexico: The DEEPEND Consortium
Oceanography Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures
  • Tracey Sutton, Nova Southeastern University
  • April Cook, Nova Southeastern University
  • Kevin M. Boswell, Florida International University
  • Heather D. Bracken-Grissom, Florida International University
  • Sergio DeRada, Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center
  • David English, University of South Florida
  • Ron Eytan, Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • C. Hu, University of South Florida
  • Matthew Johnston, Nova Southeastern University
  • Heather Judkins, University of South Florida
  • Chad Lembke, University of South Florida
  • Jose V. Lopez, Nova Southeastern University
  • J. Moore, Florida Atlantic University
  • M. Nizinski, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Brad Penta, Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center
  • Isabel C. Romero, University of South Florida
  • Jay R. Rooker, Texas A&M University
  • Mahmood S. Shivji, Nova Southeastern University
  • Michael Vecchione, Smithsonian Institution
  • D. Wells, Texas A&M University
  • Marsh Youngbluth, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
  • D. Fenolio, San Antonio Zoo
  • Tamara Frank, Nova Southeastern University
Event Name/Location
ASLO 2017 Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI, February 26-March 3, 2017
Document Type
Publication Date

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWHOS) was unique not only for its volume, but also for its depth of influence (0-1500 m). Variable amounts of hydrocarbons reached the ocean surface and/or seafloor, whereas 100% went through the water column. Understanding this pelagic habitat is important. For example, about half of all fish species that occur in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) spend all or part of their lives in the open ocean. Many mesopelagic and bathypelagic species migrate vertically each night to feed in the upper water column and return to deep water during the day. This behavior promotes rapid cycling of natural and anthropogenic material in the water column. Deep-pelagic nekton are prey for gamefishes, seabirds, and marine mammals. Given the steady growth of oil exploration and operations, the likelihood of future spills emphasizes the need to document acute and chronic effects on the pelagic fauna. The GoMRI-funded DEEPEND (Deep-Pelagic Nekton Dynamics) consortium was created for that purpose. DEEPEND is in the second of a 3year program that builds on two intensive NOAA-supported surveys during 2010-11. DEEPEND is focussed on timescales from short-term to interannual to appraise the dynamic nature of communities using a suite of integrated approaches. These investigations include: 1) a direct assessment of GoM deep-pelagic community structure including the physical and biological drivers of this structure; 2) a time-series analysis/comparison of biophysical data; 3) a time-series examination of differences in genetic diversity among key species; and 4) a biogeochemical analysis of the effect of DWHOS on pelagic biota.


©ASLO 2017 Aquatic Sciences Meeting

Additional Comments

Also presented at the 2016 Annual Joint Meetings of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, LA, July 6-10, 2016.

0000-0002-5280-7071; 0000-0002-1637-4125
F-8809-2011; G-4080-2013
Citation Information
Tracey Sutton, April Cook, Kevin M. Boswell, Heather D. Bracken-Grissom, et al.. "Deep-Pelagic Research in the Gulf of Mexico: The DEEPEND Consortium" (2017)
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