Oceanographic expedition, shipwrecks, and microbial infauna in the Gulf of Mexico

From L-R: Zeima Kassahun, Kate Blackwell, Leila Hamdan, Chrissy Figan

From L-R: Zeima Kassahun, Kate Blackwell, Leila Hamdan, Chrissy Figan

Dr. Leila Hamdan led a research team which included three ESP students on the third oceanographic expedition of the Gulf of Mexico-SCHEMA project (Shipwreck Corrosion, Hydrocarbon Exposure, Microbiology and Archaeology).  The expedition occurred on the Research Vessel Pelican, operated by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.   The study, primarily supported by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), continues to investigate the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill on shipwreck sites and their associated microbial infauna in the Gulf of Mexico.  On this third leg, project participants collected sediment samples from around each shipwreck using a Multicorer outfitted with a camera system (provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution).  Over the next few months, researchers on this project will evaluate changes in microbial community structure and function as a result of exposure to spill related contaminants.  Of key interest is how any changes may impact the longevity of shipwrecks in the deep ocean.

GMU scientists were joined by researchers from the Naval Research Laboratory, University of Texas Marine Science Institute, and American University.

For more information about studies in the Hamdan Lab as well as cruise photos and blogs, please visit: www.hamdanlab.com

To view more pictures from this and the previous expedition, please visit the Flickr albums:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk2E1Lax (August 2014)
https://flic.kr/s/aHskaQArTN (May 2015)

The Facebook page of the Research Vessel Pelicanhttps://www.facebook.com/RV-Pelican-400759953317686/

Read the home page feature article from the Mason NewsDesk on 7/6/2015…

Dr. Leila Hamdan

Dr. Leila Hamdan

Sunset from the vessel

Sunset from the vessel


Important Dates for Students

SPRING 2020 Semester (modified due to COVID-19)

MLK Day (university closed): Jan 20

First day of classes: Jan 21

Spring Break (extended): Mar 9-20

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline: May 8

Last day of classes: May 11

Reading Day(s): May 12

Final Exam Period: May 13-20

University Commencement: May 22 (tentative)

COVID-19 DATE CHANGES – For the complete modified spring calendar, see https://registrar.gmu.edu/calendars/spring-2020/ and for latest COVID-19 updates, see: https://www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus