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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill as a Case Study for Interdisciplinary Cooperation within Developmental Biology, Environmental Sciences and Physiology

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DOI: 10.4236/wjet.2015.34C002    3,294 Downloads   3,725 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the USA’s Gulf of Mexico created a high degree of exposure of marine organisms to toxic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in crude oil. To determine the ecological and physiological effects of crude oil on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative created several research consortia to address overreaching questions concerning the biological impacts of the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico that would otherwise be beyond the capabilities of an individual investigator or a small group. One of these consortia, highlighted in this article, is the RECOVER Consortium, which brings together physiologists, developmental biologists, toxicologists and other life scientists to focus on the multifaceted physiological effects of PAHs, especially as they pertain to cardiovascular and metabolic physiology of economically important fish species. Using the Recover Consortium’s interdisciplinary approach to revealing the biological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill as a case study, we make the argument for interdisciplinary teams that bring together scientists with different specialties as an efficient way—and perhaps the only way—to unravel highly complex biological effects of marine oil spills.

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Burggren, W. , Dubansky, B. , Roberts, A. and Alloy, M. (2015) Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill as a Case Study for Interdisciplinary Cooperation within Developmental Biology, Environmental Sciences and Physiology. World Journal of Engineering and Technology, 3, 7-23. doi: 10.4236/wjet.2015.34C002.

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