Zooplankton Ecology Laboratory
The Zooplankton Ecology Laboratory at LSU is equipped with digital imaging systems, nets, and high-frequency acoustic instruments that can be used to count and identify zooplankton in the ocean or in preserved samples. We also direct the Gulf SERPENT Project, an innovative academic-industry-governmental partnership that uses industrial remotely operated vehicles on deepwater petroleum exploration and production facilities to study deep-sea biodiversity. We currently work with BP, Shell, and Anadarko.
Our latest initiative is to study the emerging challenges posed by microplastic pollutants. We are quantifying the flux of microplastics in the Mississippi River at stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans to try and understand how much plastic is being discharged into the Gulf of Mexico and our coastal waters. These tiny contaminants have the potential to disrupt planktonic ecosystems and human food supplies.
Mark C. Benfield
Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
2179 ECE Building, Baton Rouge LA 70803-0001