Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Caption: A research project deep in the Gulf of Mexico, led by Penn State University Professor of Biology Charles Fisher, the project's lead scientist, and James Brooks of TDI Brooks International, the project's manager, has been honored with the Excellence in Partnership award by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, an organization established by the US Congress. The results of the research include new discoveries of coral communities in the deep Gulf of Mexico, new findings on the ecology and population genetics of the deep-water corals and communities, marine archaeological discoveries, and new data on growth rates of corals on oil platforms and shipwrecks. A primary purpose of the work is to gather data that will inform environmental review and decision making for the protection of deep-water corals and other hard-bottom communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This photo shows the deepwater coral, Lophelia pertusa, on a reef 450m below the surface, with an orange brisingid starfish in the foreground and a school of fish overhead
Credit: Image courtesy of Lophelia II 2010 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM
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Related news release: Science research led in Gulf of Mexico by Penn State biologist to be honored with US award