What's Happening at GCRL

Ecologist Michael Murrell presents seminar to Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
students and staff

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory students and staff were treated Thursday to a seminar led by ecologist Michael Murrell, president of the Gulf Estuarine Research Society. The seminar focused on the role of plankton and benthic productivity in shallow Gulf Coast estuaries.

“This research is incredibly important in the Gulf Coast region,” Murrell said. “The Gulf Coast is economically important to fisheries and habitats but is greatly understudied.”

Murrell said the coastal ecosystems are dynamic and diverse, sensitive to human activity and vary greatly during the seasons.

“All of these factors show the importance of understanding and protecting our Gulf Coast ecosystems.”

Through the seminar, Murrell explained ways his teams compare production and respiration in shallow estuarine environments using the open water metabolism method and plankton bottle experiment.

“The true grand challenge for all of us is to understand how systems are and will be affected by the human population,” he said.

Murrell also invited GCRL students to the 2016 Gulf Estuarine Research Society conference in Pensacola Beach.