Current Research Projects
Omnibus Research Projects
The Louisiana Sea Grant College Program (LSG) intends to support six research projects for the funding period beginning Feb. 1, 2020. A synopsis of the projects, along with a list of the principal investigators and their affiliations are available by following the links below.
Funded Omnibus Research Projects:
Louisiana Sea Grant is continuing its investment in aquaculture by funding two projects looking at prominent aquaculture industries in the state. Over the next few years $292,094 in federal research funds will be supporting two projects in Louisiana—one in briny estuaries and one in freshwater ponds.
Aquaculture is an increasingly important industry, representing a way to supplement wild caught seafood. Globally, aquaculture is a rapidly growing food sector, but the United States lags behind many other countries. While the nation consumes large quantities of seafood, most of that is imported. Since the U.S. imports more seafood than it catches and grows, it’s important to look at ways to support domestic aquaculture production. This is the focus of the two projects being funded in Louisiana.
Rising temperatures bring the added risk of ocean acidification. In an effort to train Gulf of Mexico researchers to rapidly respond to changing ocean acidities, the Louisiana and Texas Sea Grant programs are partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Acidification Program to provide graduate student fellowships that build the research capacity in the region.
This hands-on opportunity helps graduate students effectively translate their research to coastal audiences. Students will identify key research priorities in the Gulf of Mexico region, contribute to an increased knowledge of ocean acidification and transfer that knowledge to relevant stakeholders through outreach and extension. Three students from Louisiana will be awarded this fellowship.
Oil Spill Dispersants
Three Louisiana State University scientists received a $500,000, three-year grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to study the feasibility of producing “green” dispersants for future oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.
LSU AgCenter faculty Andrew Nyman and Chris Green and AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant faculty member Brian LeBlanc began their research in 2012. Their project – titled: Bacillus subtilis Biosurfactants with Potentially Lower Environmental Impact for Salt Water Applications – includes collaborations with Iowa State and Colombia universities.
The study will attempt to produce oil dispersants that have less of an impact on the wetland environment.
Ocean Science Assistantship Program (OSAP)
In 2015, the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program was able to fund the Ocean Science Assistantship Program (OSAP) with generous support from Shell. This program provides student support for two years of Master’s-level research relevant to environmental, social, and economic issues associated with oil and gas activities in deep-water environments (shelf ecosystems).
Resilient Communities Projects
Louisiana Sea Grant announced it is funding five new projects concentrating on the program’s Resilient Communities focus area. One is a research project and the others are scientific synthesis efforts – where existing data is used to develop new models to explain or test a problem. Below is a synopsis of the two-year projects, along with a list of the investigators and their affiliations.