Laura Timm is taking a closer look at what life is like for nine species of crustaceans six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The FIU Ph.D. student and Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative scholar is exploring marine genetic diversity in Assistant Professor Heather Bracken-Grissom’s Crustacean Genomics and Systematics Lab. She is attempting to answer several questions:
- What kind of genetic diversity can be found in the deep gulf?
- How well are the distinct populations connecting and communicating throughout the larger ecosystem?
- How has the oil spill impacted diversity and connectivity?
- What recovery, if any, can be seen since the spill?
- And, is the Gulf of Mexico a genetically closed system or is there migration into and out of the gulf?
Ultimately, she hopes to provide a timeline of crustacean recovery. Her journey to FIU and her research with the DEEPEND Consortium were recently profiled by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.