Principal Scientist Dr. Kersey Sturdivant to Present at the University of Chicago

The Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago is hosting Dr. Sturdivant October 11th and 12th as he discusses careers after graduate school with students and presents work on macrobenthic recovery after disaster. Specifically, Dr. Sturdivant will present “The untold story of recovery following the Deepwater Horizon incident: A worm’s eye view,” which details how traditional benthic sampling missed the rapid recovery process following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2011 and highlights benthic community resiliency. “Human understanding of the deep-sea benthic environment has always been limited by our ability to sample it,” Sturdivant notes, “as a result, deep-sea benthic ecology has a long history of mischaracterization ([as evidenced by] Edward Forbes’ [superceded] azoic theory).” Dr. Sturdivant hopes this story of deep-sea recovery serves “as a cautionary example for future deep-sea assessments, especially in areas impacted by anthropogenic activity.”

A SPI Image from an early survey profiles the seafloor and provides new insights into benthic resilience after an oil spill.