UNT PhD Students Dive Deep in Collaborative Research via RECOVER Consortium | College of Science

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January 31, 2019

UNT PhD Students Dive Deep in Collaborative Research via RECOVER Consortium

The RECOVER Consortium is a team of marine biologists, aquatic toxicologists, and geneticists from four research institutions, including the Biological Sciences Department in UNT's College of Science. The team is dedicated to further the understanding of oil induced effects on fish and the potential for recovery.

RECOVER, which stands for "Relationships of Effects of Cardiac Outcomes in fish for Validation of Ecological Risk," is one of twelve research groups awarded grants totaling 140 million by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), a 20-member independent research board created to allocate the $500 million committed by BP for independent research programs following the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill.

UNT professors and RECOVER co-PI's Dr. Aaron Roberts, Dr. Edward Mager, Dr. Dane Crossley, and Dr. Warren Burggren work alongside their students as part of a massive research effort that examines the detrimental effects of oil on two ecologically and economically important species of fish in the Gulf of Mexico, specifically mahi-mahi and red drum.

Light up pads are the go-to tools for RECOVER researchers who work with fish embryos and larvae. First year UNT PhD student Rachel Leads uses the light pads to sample larval red drum following crude oil and UV exposure to study the impacts UV radiation on increased toxicity of the chemicals found in crude oil. In Dr. Edward Mager's lab, PhD student Fabrizio Bonatesta, alongside Dr. Jason Magnuson (currently working in co-PI Dr. Schlenk's lab at UC Riverside) and Dr. Mager, uses the same light pads to make sure the correct number of zebrafish embryos are put into different dilutions of oil and natural organic materials (NOM) to research the influence of NOM on oil toxicity.

To find out more about these fascinating collaborative research projects and scientists studying the effects of oil spills on the environment at RECOVER, visit http://recoverconsortium.org.