In the water above natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico, where oil and gas bubbles rise almost a mile to break at the surface, scientists have discovered something unusual: phytoplankton, tiny microbes at the base of the marine food chain, are thriving. The oil itself does not appear to help the phytoplankton, but the low concentration of oil found above natural seeps isn’t killing them, and turbulence from the rising oil and gas bubbles is bringing up deep-water nutrients that phytoplankton need to grow, according to a new study appearing in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience.
|Name||Title||Fields of interest|
|Solange Duhamel||Lamont Assistant Research Professor||Role of microorganisms as agents of biogeochemical transformations, and the reciprocal role of nutrients availability, in particular phosphorus (P), on the distribution, growth and productivity of microplankton|
|Andrew Juhl||Lamont Associate Research Professor||Plankton ecology, Phytoplankton growth and physiology, Zooplankton grazing, Harmful algae, Dinoflagellate blooms, Physical/biological interactions, Nutrient/microbial pollution of coastal waters, Sea-ice algae|