Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

Principal Investigators :

Dr. Antonietta Quigg

Dr. Antonietta Quigg

quigga@tamug.edu

Dr. Quigg, Professor and Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate studies at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Since starting at A&M in 2003, she has participated in 42 research proposals (>21 million), acting as lead PI on 27 including the present project (>10 million).  This has led to >70 publications, most of which have students and postdocs at lead authors.  At any one time, she has several postdocs and technicians and typically 6-7 graduate students. Further, Quigg has spent over 150 days at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. Quigg has extensive experience leading and participating in multiple PI programs, including being responsible for all management aspects of the programs, writing reports and handling budgets, acting in effect as a program manager for these research programs. As the consortium director and chief scientific officer, she will lead this team towards an understanding of aggregation and degradation of dispersants and oil by microbial exopolymers (ADDOMEx). Quigg will bridge her expertise of phytoplankton ecophysiology with the chemists, biologists, engineers on the team to develop a process based understanding of this phenomenon. Quigg is currently involved in a range of projects from studying freshwater inflows and bioindicators in Galveston Bay, to mechanisms controlling hypoxia, and to lab studies on the impact of engineered nanomaterials and the potential for algal biofuels. Quigg has over 70 publications (Google H index 22). To learn more about the different research in the Quigg lab: www.tamug.edu/phytoplankton/People/Antonietta_Quigg.html

To the top

Dr. Peter H. Santschi

Dr. Peter H. Santschi

santschi@tamug.edu

Dr. Santschi is a Regents Professor of Texas A&M University, and Director, Laboratory for Oceanographic and Environmental Research (LOER) and Coastal Zone Laboratory (CZL) and is involved in ADDOMEx as the Deputy Consortium Director. He will be involved in various aspects of the research on the role of exudates in oil dispersion, aggregation and fate, and will co-ordinate activities of exudate analysis. Dr. Santschi will work closely with lead investigators, postdocs and graduate students, and coordinates activities for EPS characterization and inter-laboratory collaborations.  Dr. Santschi has over 280 publications (H score 69) in various topics in environmental and marine chemistry. Dr. Santschi currently is involved research projects on radionuclide binding to bio- and geopolymers in the ocean and in soils as well as on the role of exopolymeric substances as biosurfactants and radionuclide scavenging in the marine environment. To learn more, visit http://loer.tamug.edu/people/Santschi/index.html

To the top

Dr. Wei-Chun Chin

Dr. Wei-Chun Chin

wchin2@ucmerced.edu

Dr. Chin is a chemical engineer and involved in ADDOMex as a co-PI. Chin group at UC Merced has applied polymer physics, microfabrication, nanotechnology and engineering principles to study various biological systems, including marine microgel formation. The project for UC Merced team aims to utilize microfludic designs to investigate the impact of oil and dispersants on marine microbial community under various environmental conditions, including their individual physiological responses, evolution or species competition. In addition, various environmental factors that influence EPS and oil/dispersant interactions as well as marine gel (marine snow) formation will be studied with confocal microscopy, flow cytomter, atomic force microscopy and dynamic laser scattering. To learn more about the different research in the Chin lab: http://www.ucmerced.edu/content/wei-chun-chin

To the top

Dr. Zoe Finkel

Dr. Zoe Finkel

zfinkel@.mta.ca

Dr. Finkel is a Canada Research Chair in Marine Environmental Ecology and involved in ADDOMex as a co-PI. Dr. Finkel will be working with Dr. Quigg on the laboratory experiments and transcriptomic analyses of how individual phytoplankton species and communities respond to oil and dispersant under different environmental conditions. Dr. Finkel’s work focuses on how environmental and climate change interacts with physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes to influence phytoplankton communities over a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Dr. Finkel has over 40 peer-reviewed publications (H score 23) in marine environmental research. To learn more about the different research in the Finkel lab: http://mmab.ca/

To the top

Dr. Patrick G. Hatcher

Dr. Patrick G. Hatcher

phatcher@odu.edu

Dr. Hatcher is Batten Endowed Chair of Physical Sciences, Director Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, Director College of Sciences Major Instrumentation Cluster, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and involved in ADDOMex as a co-PI. Dr. Hatcher will be involved with advanced analytical aspects of the project aligned closely with the Santschi group to forge an understanding of how oil and Corexit influence suspended particulate matter from both laboratory and field sample collections. Hatcher has over 320 publications (Google H index 80). Dr. Hatcher currently is involved in numerous research projects focused on the formation of kerogen, petroleum, natural gas, dissolved and particulate organic matter in the oceans, and on humic substances. To learn more about the different research in the Hatcher lab: https://fs.wp.odu.edu/phatcher/

To the top

Dr. Uta Passow

Dr. Uta Passow is a Research Professor in Biological Oceanography and involved in ADDOMEx as a co-PI. Uta has been working in the Gulf of Mexico since the oil spill in 2010 and as the chair of the inter-consortia working group, MOSSFA, has introduced the scientific and response community to the role of marine snow as a transport mechanism of oil in marine systems. Within ADDOMEx, she will use a hierarchical approach of increasingly larger and more complex experiments to investigate the response of different autotrophic microbes to oil and dispersant in terms of their production of EPS (exopolymeric substances). Specifically the Passow lab will be responsible for the analysis of TEP (transparent exopolymer particles) and for roller table experiments. We will also participate in the mesocosm experiments. To learn more about the different research in the Passow lab: http://passowlab.msi.ucsb.edu

To the top

Dr. Jason B. Sylvan

Dr. Jason B. Sylvan

jasonsylvan@tamu.edu

Dr. Sylvan is Assistant Professor (Research) and involved in ADDOMex as a co-PI. He spent the majority of his dissertation studying eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico and is excited to merge his more recent expertise in geomicrobiology with his earlier interest in the Gulf to study interactions between bacteria and archaea with phytoplankton, oil, dispersants and exopolymeric substances. He will be leading the analysis of the bacterial and archaeal data and will be involved with conducting the small-scale microchip experiments, the medium-scale roller table experiments and the large-scale mesocosm experiments. Dr. Sylvan has 18 peer-reviewed publications to date in oceanographic research. To learn more about the research in the Sylvan lab: http://oceanography.tamu.edu/people/faculty/sylvanjasonb%20.html

Note - as of summer 2015, Sylvan will be an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University, College Station

To the top

Terry L. Wade

Dr. Terry L. Wade

terry@GERG.tamu.edu

Dr. Wade is the Deputy Director (GERG) and Research Professor of Oceanography and involved in ADDOMex as a co-PI. He will be involved with the field work aspects of the project. He will aid Dr. Knap in the dosing experiments and will be responsible for the oil chemistry laboratory work. Dr. Wade published his first paper on oil and the environment in 1972 and most recent in 2014. He has over 220 publications (H score 44). Dr. Wade currently is involved research projects in Antarctica and Qatar involving oil in sediments and organisms. To learn more about the different research at GERG: http://gerg.tamu.edu

To the top

tony knap



Dr. Anthony Knap

tknap@tamu.edu

Dr. Anthony Knap is the James R. Whatley Endowed Chair in Geosciences, Professor of Oceanography and Director of Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) at Texas A&M University. He holds a PhD in Oceanography He has had extensive experience with both chemical and physical monitoring systems. He founded the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) and was PI of Station S. He was the President and Director of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences for 25 years. GERG has a long history of work in the Gulf of Mexico, including the operation of a number of instrumented buoys (Texas Automated Buoy System – TABS) and other sustained monitoring systems in the Gulf of Mexico. He was the Chairman of the Health of the Ocean Committee for GOOS, co-chaired the Coastal Panel of GOOS resulting in the GOOS Coastal strategic plan and then the implementation Plan. He recently served on the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and on the Executive Committee of the Partnership of Observations of the Global Ocean (POGO). He has served on Commercial company Boards and is presently a Director of Maritime Insurance Solutions, Ltd. He has recently been named to the National Academy of Sciences Gulf of Mexico Research Program Board. His role in ADDOMEx has been to design and build the mesocosms as well as the analysis and interpretation of the chemistry data with the biological processes. He is also a member of the management team.

To the top