UT Scientists Net $7 Million to Research Oil Spill’s Impact

It’s been almost a year and a half since the Deepwater Horizon explosion spilled 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists are still just beginning to understand how that spill and others like it are affecting the environment.

A team of researchers at UT’s Marine Science Institute will play a key role in that process. They’ve won a $7 million grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, which is funded by BP, to study the mechanics of oil dispersal.

The researchers will use digital technology to examine how living organisms interact with the oil. Some zooplankton may even be able to feed on oil, project lead Dr. Ed Buskey said in a an announcement.

UT will lead an international team of six other institutions collaborating on the three-year project, MarketWatch reports. Their findings may help responders to future oil spills learn how best to control and clean up the oil.

Photo by Flickr user lagohsep


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