Charlotte Brunner, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Marine Science

I am a geological oceanographer and currently I am working on several projects that have a place for an undergraduate participant. All of the projects use basic geologic information (grain size, sediment composition, etc.) combined with fossil and living environmental indicator species of Foraminifera. A student will choose a topic from below and, with advice, plan a semester-long project that could lead to a talk at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences or other scientific venue. The project can involve field work as well as laboratory work.

1. Hypoxia: the “Dead Zone” off our own Mississippi-Alabama barrier islands. We are studying the present-day impact looking for signatures that will preserve in the sediments so we can trace the history of hypoxia in our region over the past millennium.
2. Has the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and other sources of pollution harmed the marshes of Mississippi and Louisiana? In addition to damage from the spill, we have also noticed ill effects to marsh infauna possibly due to eutrophication at seabird rookeries and contamination from local industrial sources. What is the state of health of our local marshes?
3. What is the history of large storm events in the Mississippi region? We are looking at storm layers in coastal lakes and marshes to determine the frequency of hurricanes over the past several millennia compared to the present-day (historical) frequency. This project will spin off a variety of studies.
4. How long and through what processes does a restored marsh attain normal marsh conditions? The marshes at Deer Island, Ms., are a likely site for this project.
5. What is the history of local marshes over the past 6,000 years of their existence? Studies here will focus on marshes of the Grand Bay NERR, the Pearl River marsh, Biloxi Bay and the Bay of St. Louis.

Selected publications

Brunner, C. A. and Cooley, J., 1976, Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico during the last glacial maximum 18,000 years ago, Geological Society of America Bull., 87:681 686.

Brunner, C. A., and Biscaye, P. E., 1997, Storm-driven fluxes and seasonal succession of foraminifers delivered to the upper slope, Mid-Atlantic Bight. Continental Shelf Research, 17(5):491-508.

Brunner, C. A., Normark, W.R., Zuffa, G.G., Serra, F., 1999, Deep sea sedimentary record of the late Wisconsin cataclysmic floods from the Columbia River. Geology, 27(5): 463B466.

Brunner, C. A., and Biscaye, P. E., 2003, Production and resuspension of planktonic foraminifers at the shelf break of the southern Middle Atlantic Bight. Deep-Sea Research, Part I, 50:247-268.

Brunner, C. A., Beall, J., Bentley, S., and Furukawa, Y., 2006, Hypoxia hotspots in the Mississippi Bight, Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 36(2): 95-107.

Feagin, R.A., Yeager, K.M., Brunner, C.A., and Paine, J.G., 2013, Active fault motion in a coastal wetland: Matagorda, Texas, Geomorphology, v. 199, p. 150-159.

Yeager, K.M., Brunner, C.A., Kulp, M.A., Fischer, D., Feagin, R.A., Schindler, K.J., Prouhet, J., and Bera, G., 2012, Significance of active growth faulting on marsh accretion processes in the lower Pearl River, Louisiana, Geomorphology., v. 153-154, p. 127–143.

Macelloni, L., Brunner, C., Caruso, S., Lutken, C., D'Emidio, M., and Lapham, L., 2013. Spatial distribution of seafloor bio-geological and geochemical processes as proxies of fluid flux regime and evolution of a carbonate/hydrates mound, northern Gulf of Mexico, Deep-Sea Research I, v. 74, p. 25-38.

Brunner, C.A., Yeager, K.M., Hatch, R., Simpson, S., Keim, J., Briggs, K.B., and Louchouarn, P., 2013, Effects of Oil from the Macondo Well Blowout on Marsh Foraminifera of Mississippi and Louisiana, USA. Environmental Science and Technology, v. 47 (16): 9115-9123.