The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) announced it will fund eight research groups to investigate the effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The grant awards, selected by GRI’s research board, total some $112.5 million over three years.
The GRI grants, supported by BP, will fund research on five major topics: (1) physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum; (2) chemical evolution and biological degradation of petroleum and dispersant systems; (3) environmental effects of petroleum/dispersant systems on the ocean, coastal waters, and related ecosystems; (4) technology for improved detection, responses, and remediation of oil and gas releases; (5) research integrating the other four topics in the context of public health.
The eight lead institutions and research topics selected by GRI are:
- University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute. The Impact of Biological, Physical and Chemical Processes on the Fate of Oil Spills – Bridging Small Scale Processes with Meso-Scale Modeling
- Texas A&M University at College Station. Gulf of Mexico Integrated Spill Response Consortium
- Florida State University. Deep-C: Deepsea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico
- Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. The Effects of the Macondo Oil Spill on Coastal Ecosystems
- University of South Florida. Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem
- University of Miami. Consortium for Advanced Research of Hydrocarbon Transport in the Environment
- Tulane University. The Science and Technology of Dispersants as Relevant to Deep Sea Oil Releases
- University of Mississippi. Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf
GRI research board chair Rita Colwell says the consortia were selected by a competitive merit review process. Colwell adds that GRI is working on a second request for proposals, this one featuring smaller grants to individual or small teams of researchers.
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