The Gulf of Mexico is a largely oligotrophic, low latitude regional ocean known for natural oil seep sites and commercial fisheries. Our lab has study the base of the ecosystem including nitrogen sources for larval fish (Bluefin Tuna) and the microbial processes leading to the degragation of oil in the water column and sediments.

Bluefin Tuna

BTE Cruises

These cruises (NF17 & NF18) focused on identifying the dominate lower ecosystem pathways supporting the larval Bluefin Tuna within the Golf of Mexico. My roles included management of the Sediment Traps, Deckboard and in situ incubations (nitrate uptake and C13PP), and Thorium activity profiles.

Ecosystem Modeling

Using a recent advancement in Linear Inverse Ecosystem Models (Stukel et al. 2018), we have improved out understanding of the trophic linkages between the larval Bluefun Tuna and their planktonic prey.


Microbial Modeling

The goal of this project is to integrate our understanding of microbial degragation pathways (particuarly those for oil) within a hydrodynamic model of the Gulf including the water column and sediments. This project is inspired by a global genetic model (Coles et al 2017) whereby synthetic organisms of explicity modeled with a range of metabolic calpabilities.


  • Deckboard and in situ incubations
  • Thorium Profiles
  • Sediment Trap Deployment
  • Nitrogen Isotopic Signatures
  • GENOME Models