Paul W Sammarco

Paul W Sammarco

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, USA

Title: Petroleum hydrocarbons associated with the BP/deepwater horizon oil spill: Concentrations and distribution in the Gulf of Mexico


Paul W Sammarco is a Professor, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), Chauvin, Louisiana, USA. He has conducted research on coral reef ecology for >40 years in the Caribbean and Great Barrier Reef, Australia. He has >285 publications and has served as an Assistant Professor, Clarkson University (NY); Senior Research Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science; and Executive Director, LUMCON; Director, Environmental Research, Resource Assessment Commission, Dept. Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia; Prime Minister’s personal commission on natural resource and environmental issues); Executive Director, Assn. Marine Laboratories Caribbean; Chairman, State Commission, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, and Chairperson, Council, First United Methodist Church, Houma; and Assoc. Editor, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Aquatic Biology. He has demonstrated genetic connectivity between coral populations on the platforms and the Flower Garden Banks. He has identified alternate uses for post-production platforms and conducted deep-water reconnaissance on platforms used as artificial reefs. His current research topics include climate change/global warming, coral bleaching, sclerochronology, coral immune systems, prediction of coral extinction, analytical modeling, oil spill impacts and remediation (BP spill), and invasive coral species, and geographic extent of the BP oil spill.


The geographic extent of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination in sediment, seawater, biota, and seafood during and after the BP/deepwater horizon oil spill, which spanned between April 20 and July 15, 2010 was examined. It was examined TPH, PAHs, and 12 classes of compounds, particularly C1-benzo(a)anthracenes/chrysenes, C-2-/C-4 -phenanthrenes/ anthracenes, and C3-naphthalenes. TPH, PAHs, and all of the above classes in sediment peaked near Pensacola, Florida, and Galveston, Texas.TPH in seawater was high off Pensacola; all of the above classes peaked off the Mississippi River, Louisiana and Galveston.TPH and PAHs in marine biota were high near the Mississippi River; C-3 napthalenes were found to be high near the spill site.TPH in seafood samples peaked near the spill site, while PAHs and all classes peaked near Pensacola.It is supposed that oil concentrations should be monitored well after the spill has ceased to assist in defining re-opening dates for fisheries. Hydrocarbon levels should also be deemed within appropriate limits before fisheries are permitted to be opened.

Speaker Presentations

Speaker PDFs

Speaker PPTs

Download PPT