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. 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. 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. 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.