Oil Spill Science Seminar: Healthy Gulf seafood

Oil Spill Science Seminar: Healthy Gulf Seafood
Nov 18th, 2015 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm CT
Hardy Hall Ballroom, The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus
730 E. Beach Blvd., Long Beach, MS

This workshop was a full-day event in which scientists shared published, peer-reviewed work about the following questions:

  • How did agencies test seafood during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?
  • How do fish and other animals break down oil and other contaminants?
  • How are scientists monitoring seafood to keep consumers safe?

Speakers included:

Introduction to the Oil Spill Science Outreach Program
Larissa Graham is an oil spill extension specialist with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant. She facilitated the day’s workshop and gave attendees an explanation of the Sea Grant-GoMRI oil spill science outreach program. View PDF. Watch video.

Overview of oil and oil properties
Gary Shigenaka is a senior biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Emergency Response Division in Seattle. He has provided biological and shoreline assessment support during spills of oil and hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and internationally for more than two decades. He provided background about oil.  Watch video.

Understanding how animals recover from the effects of oil exposure
Dr. Benjamin Dubansky is a developmental physiologist. Dr. Dubansky received his training at LSU and began his oil spill research prior to the landfall of oil from the Deepwater Horizon. He continues to monitor the effects of the spill on the early development of Gulf species and model vertebrates at the University of North Texas’ Developmental Integrative Biology Research Cluster. He provided an overview of how animals recover from oil exposure and his research looking at gene expression as a response to oil exposure. Watch video.

Bile: a natural tool for the detection of oil exposure
Susan Snyder is a PhD student at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, working in Dr. Steve Murawski’s lab. As a part of the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE) group, Susan studies exposure to and accumulation of oil in bottom-dwelling fishes from the Gulf of Mexico, including species such as red snapper and golden tilefish. Susan talked about a biomarker of short-term exposure to oil, metabolites in bile.Watch video.

Effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil event on oysters in the northcentral Gulf of Mexico
Dr. Ruth H. Carmichael is a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and an Associate Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama. She is a population and trophic ecologist who studies relationships between organisms and their environment, particularly responses to human-related stressors such as nutrient enrichment and pollution. She shared studies on how oysters were affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Deepwater Horizon, Seafood, and Fisheries: Introduction and Background
Gary Shigenaka
is a senior biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Emergency Response Division in Seattle. He has provided biological and shoreline assessment support during spills of oil and hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and internationally for more than two decades. He provided background about seafood testing in the response world during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Watch video.

Ensuring seafood safety in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Gina Ylitalo is the Program Manager of Environmental Chemistry at the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington. She and her staff focus on developing analytical methods to measure chemical contaminants, including petroleum-related compounds and their metabolites, and other chemical tracers in NOAA trust resources. She presented information on the federal seafood safety response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Watch video.

Mississippi Seafood Safety Testing Program
Rick Burris is from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) Office of Marine Fisheries and serves as the Director of the Shrimp and Crab Bureau. Rick was one of the lead scientist involved with the Mississippi Seafood Safety Testing Program sampling efforts from 2010 to 2014. He presented on MDMR’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the safety of Mississippi’s seafood. Watch video.

Chemical testing of Gulf seafood
Dr. John Guarisco currently works as the Environmental Toxicologist for the Alabama Department of Public Health. As part of his duties, he provides toxicological and risk assessment consultation to state, federal, municipal, and community agencies and organizations. Additional duties include researching and writing fish consumption advisories and environmental health advisories. He talked about the chemical testing that was used during the oil spill. Watch video.

Sea Grant educational response to DWH to assure a safe supply of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico
Dr. Russ Miget is a Senior Research Scientist with Texas Sea Grant working with seafood producers and processors to assure a safe and quality supply of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. He discussed the processor training that Gulf states seafood technologists provided in the aftermath of the spill to identify oil contaminated seafood as part of their HACCP seafood inspection plans. Watch video.

An Application of Community Based Participatory Research: Targeted Dietary Health Risk Assessments Following An Environmental Disaster
Dr. Mark Wilson is clinical assistant professor with the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. His work involves the application of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) designs focused on dietary health risk assessments following environmental disasters. He presented findings from a seafood based dietary health risk assessment conducted in a sensitive subpopulation of high-end seafood consumers in southeast Louisiana. Watch video.

Other documents:

View full agenda here – PDF
View speaker bio – PDF

Questions? Contact Larissa Graham with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant by email or phone at 251-348-5436.

If you would like to learn more about upcoming seminars, please visit our presentations webpage or sign up for our oil spill science updates emails.