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The research mission of School of Ocean Science and Engineering is to conduct interdisciplinary research and develop innovative technology to better understand, preserve and protect the aquatic environment and associated social dimensions in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. Our faculty members pursue research in many core sub-disciplines.

Former PhD student Laura Whitmore (r) helping sample through the ice near the North Pole.

Graduate students and research technicians hold an adult Gulf Sturgeon captured in the Pascagoula River. Pictured from left: Elizabeth Greenheck, Alfonso Cohuo, Austin Draper, Kasea Price, and Kati Wright.

Former PhD student Laura Whitmore sub-sampling water bottles for dissolved methane in the Arctic Ocean.

A happy gang of students and techs posing in front of a rosette water sampler ready to be lowered into the Gulf of Mexico.

Former postdoc Hannah Box setting up a system to determine short-lived radium isotopes in water from the northern Gulf of Mexico.


Core Sub-disciplines

Aquaculture Science is concerned with the understanding of the technology and engineering of aquaculture systems and the biological dynamics of fin and shellfish raised in captivity for conservation and enhancement and human use. This specialty at SOSE involves studies of water quality, animal health, genetics, physiology, and policy.

Aquatic Health Sciences is concerned with research into pathogens and toxins and how they impact humans and coastal and marine organisms. This specialty at SOSE involves the study of pollution, toxicology, physiology, parasitology, epidemiology, and biochemistry.

Biological Oceanography is the study of organisms in the sea and processes that control their abundances, types, and variations.

Chemical Oceanography studies the pathways of chemical species through the oceans over vast ranges of time and space scales.

Coastal and Marine Ecology and Ecosystem Processes is concerned with understanding the environmental and biological processes that determine patterns of abundance and distribution of organisms. This specialty at SOSE involves the study of benthic and fish ecology, coastal wetland ecology, marine botany, marine microbiology, marine biogeochemistry, stable isotope ecology, landscape ecology, human dimensions, and ecological modeling.

Fisheries Science and Fisheries Oceanography are concerned with management and assessment of fisheries, which include understanding the biological dynamics of living marine organisms and the behaviors of those that harvest the resource. This specialty at SOSE involves the study of ecology, fishery management, conservation genetics, and early life history of fishes.

Geological Oceanography is the study of the history and structure of the ocean floor. It involves geophysical, geochemical, sedimentological and paleontological investigations of the water column, ocean floor and coastal zone. Geological Oceanography has strong ties to marine geology, geophysics and to physical oceanography.

Hydrographic Science is involved with every aspect of ocean data from bathymetric mapping of the ocean floor, managing large marine data sets, exploring for the minerals that lie far beneath, measuring currents, tides and waves, and observing the ocean environment.

Ocean Engineering is a multidisciplinary field of technology applied to the ocean environment that combines aspects of civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering with naval architecture and applied oceanography.

Ocean Optics investigate the interaction of light with water and its constituents and decipher this interaction to characterize the dissolved and suspended matter in the aquatic environments.

Physical Oceanography is the study of physical conditions and physical processes within the ocean, especially the motions and physical properties of ocean waters.

Social Science and Policy investigates how marine and coastal people, spaces, and resources interact, including the creation, implementation, and impacts of marine and coastal policy on individuals, communities, and ecosystems.