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OR&R Attends Colloquium on ‘Microbial Genomics of the Global Ocean System’

MAY 6, 2019 — On April 9, OR&R’s biological oceanographer Dr. Carl Childs from the Emergency Response Division attended a colloquium on “Microbial Genomics of the Global Ocean System” on April 9-10, 2019. The event was a part of the ongoing Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s Legacy and Synthesis effort to consolidate scientific research that followed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. OR&R is actively involved in this effort, building connections and sharing our response and restoration knowledge with the research community.

The goal of the meeting was to assess the body of work that has arisen out of the application of new molecular methods during the spill and develop a broad research synthesis to enhance our understanding of the microbial response to major disturbances in the ocean. Several resulting papers are anticipated in the peer-reviewed literature within the next 18 months.

Deepwater Horizon was the first large spill where recent substantial advances in molecular methods were used to study the microbial ecology of an oil spill. Some of these technologies were from a group collectively referred to as ‘omics’ (see figure), which involves identification of the genetic material, the proteins synthesized based on underlying genetic material, and resulting metabolites related to those proteins. In other fields, NOAA is using other biological technology advances, such as use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to identify species in an ecosystem. OR&R is currently working to develop collaborative research partnerships that will incorporate several of these molecular methods into a marsh response replanting study being conducted with the National Centers for Coast and Ocean Science.

OR&R is staying attuned to the rapidly evolving evolution of biological technologies for the implications in our spill response and restoration roles.

For further information, contact Carl.Childs@noaa.gov.

Return to OR&R Weekly Report.