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Research Microbiologist Christina Kellogg and Research Marine Biologist James Evans took part in a research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, collecting mesophotic and deep-sea coral specimens for microbiology research.

Left: Remote operated vehicle resting on ship's deck, for deep sea coral collections. Right: colorful corals photos at depth
Left: the ROV Mohawk, the remotely operated vehicle used to collect specimens at depth, on board the NOAA Ship Pisces. Right: the diversity of corals shown at one site in the mesophotic zone of the Gulf of Mexico.

Drs. Kellogg and Evans each took part in one leg of the month-long cruise, traveling from Pascagoula, Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico onboard the NOAA Ship Pisces as part of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities restoration project. As part of this project, Kellogg and Evans collected samples of mesophotic and deep-sea coral specimens for microbial ecology studies, with the goal of understanding the health of benthic communities in sites impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Mohawk was equipped with a specialized container for microbiology specimen collections and was used to recover samples of deep sea corals at depth.

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