Oil Spill Science Seminar: Dispersants

Understanding the toxicity of oil and dispersant mixtures and the development of alternative dispersants
 May 20, 2015, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Click here for flyer.
Click here to watch a VIDEO of the seminar.

This seminar was designed to give members of non-profits information on a few broad topics concerning the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – namely the effects of oil-dispersant mixtures on aquatic life and research into bacteria-based dispersants. A brief history of dispersants and the impacts of oil and dispersants in nearshore environments was also given.

Dr. Maung-Douglass (Louisiana Sea Grant) summarizing the effects of shoreline oiling in marshes. Photo credit: K.A. Maung-Douglass

Dr. Emily Maung-Douglass of Louisiana Sea Grant set up a framework for why dispersants are used in oil spill response by providing information on how shoreline oiling leads to environmental degradation and its potentially long-lasting impacts to animals. She also discussed dispersant use in a historical context, and described how dispersants work. View the PDF here.

Dr. Green (LSU AgCenter) describing toxicity testing in Gulf killifish. Photo credit: K.A. Maung-Douglass

Dr. Christopher Green of LSU AgCenter gave an in-depth case study revolving around a species important to both the marsh and recreational fishermen, the Gulf killifish. He explained how the toxicity of oil-dispersant mixtures can be impacted by environmental factors, such as salinity.

Dr. Nyman (LSU AgCenter) detailing the search for bacterial-based surfactants. Photo credit: K.A. Maung-Douglass

Dr. Andrew Nyman of LSU AgCenter discussed topics related to marsh resiliency post-oiling, and the comparative toxicity of various dispersants and surfactants. He also discussed the development of novel, bacterial enzyme-based dispersants.

To learn more about this seminar, please contact Emily Maung-Douglass at 225-361-1384. If you would like to learn more about upcoming seminars, please visit our presentations webpage .