Research Areas and Related Programs

The marine research programs at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory are multidisciplinary and applications-oriented.

Marine Aquaculture

Marine aquaculture is devoted to developing technologies for environmentally sustainable approaches to marine aquaculture and marine stock enhancement.

Marine Biodiversity

Marine biodiversity describes and classifies aquatic species and determining their life history

Marine Ecology

Marine ecology assesses and predicts changes in marine and coastal ecosystems

Landscape Ecology

Landscape ecology examines ecosystem dynamics and spatial variation under disturbances such as hurricanes, oil spills, land cover/land use changes, and climate change. Wei Wu, Ph.D.

Marine Education

The GCRL Marine Education Center (MEC) is dedicated to teaching about oceans and their impact on human lives. The MEC creates links between GCRL's marine research programs and the public.

Marine Fisheries

Marine fisheries programs investigate oceanic and estuarine animal resources.

Fisheries Ecology

Fisheries ecology quantifies ecological and life-history links between habitat and fish sustainability in marine and coastal ecosystems. Mark Peterson, Ph.D.

Fisheries Oceanography and Ecology

The Fisheries Oceanography and Ecology Lab investigates the linkages between environmental drivers and the distribution and survival of marine fish early life history stages.    Frank Hernandez, Ph.D.

Marine Microbial Ecology

The Marine Microbial Ecology Laboratory encompasses culture-based marine research programs and molecular analyses.

Marine Pathology

Marine pathology investigates the infectious diseases of wild and farmed marine organisms.


The parasitology group at the GCRL has been directed by Dr. Robin Overstreet since 1969. Dr. Overstreet leads an active group of scientists and four Ph.D. students. Most of their work involves parasitic flatworms or flukes, known to scientists as the Trematodes, a class of parasitic worms in the phylum Platyhelminthes.

Aquatic Toxicology

Aquatic toxicology investigates the environmental health of living coastal and ocean resources.