Oil spill science outreach team

The Sea Grant oil spill science specialists work together on multiple oil spill related research topics. Although each is based in a different state, they work regionally throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about the team and program by reading the publication Reflections on implementing a regional oil spill science outreach program with national and international reach.

Oil spill science specialists

Dani Bailey – Based in Corpus Christi, Texas, with the Texas Sea Grant College Program, Dani’s educational background is in coastal science with an emphasis on aquatic health sciences, specifically focusing on sportfish and sharks. She also coordinated a marine education program for teachers in coastal Mississippi that emphasized marine organisms and ecosystems, scientific careers, and community sustainability.

Emily Maung-Douglass, Ph.D. – Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Emily has expertise at the interface of ecology, chemistry, and toxicology. She also has studied the impacts of environmental stressors on aquatic animals.


Missy Partyka, Ph.D. – Based in Mobile, Alabama, with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Missy has a record of using her advanced degrees in integrated ecology to work closely with the public to research and explain complex environmental issues, particularly those relating to water quality and food safety.


Monica Wilson, Ph.D. – Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, with the UF/IFAS Extension of the Florida Sea Grant College Program, Monica has used her physical oceanography background to model circulation, flushing, and the impacts of tropical storms on coastal systems in the region.

Management and support

Steve Sempier, Ph.D. – Based in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Steve has worked on several Gulf-wide issues, including the Gulf of Mexico Research Plan and a Gulf of Mexico hydrological restoration program through a partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center. He coordinates the overall outreach effort and synthesizes the results for GoMRI.

Tara Skelton – Based in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Tara has served as a science writer for GoMRI and other marine science research consortia. She supports the oil spill specialists in the development of outreach products and manages the website. Contact Tara for hard copies of the team’s outreach publications.


Swann high-resolution headshotLaDon Swann, Ph.D. – Splitting his time between the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Gulf Coast Research Lab, LaDon serves as the director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and as the PI of the oil spill science outreach program. Responsible for implementing practical solutions to coastal issues through competitive research, graduate student training, extension and outreach and K-12 education, LaDon also conducts research on shellfish aquaculture and habitat restoration. He has over 25 years of experience designing, delivering and evaluating adult education programs. The Tennessee native worked 10 years with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program at Purdue University, where he earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction for adults. He also served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, in the mid-1980s.