Zooplankton have high temporal and spatial variability. Therefore, they need to be assessed before oil impact and regularly thereafter, to interpret what changes are causally related to oil spills. We surveyed plankton using bongo net tows and the USF SIPPER imaging system to evaluate the variation in plankton abundance on the west Florida shelf and the northern Gulf of Mexico. Seasonal CTD, chlorophyll, nutrient, and zooplankton abundance data from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and the west Florida shelf. Developed new algorithms for data mining SIPPER (Shadow Imaging Particle Profiler and Evaluation Recorder) camera particle imaging data.


Data and metadata is made available by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) through a CC0 license in compliance with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The original dataset landing pages may be accessed at GRIIDC’s dataset monitoring webpage.

Data users are encouraged to contact the originating investigator prior to data use and provide appropriate credit.


This project is focused on conducting baseline studies and impact assessments to provide the basis for long-term monitoring. The goals are to: 1. Establish a baseline of the abundance and distribution of zooplankton in the northern Gulf of Mexico and west Florida shelf using the towed SIPPER (Shadow Imaging Particle Profiler and Evaluation Recorder) imaging system and net tows. 2. Develop new algorithms and image pattern recognition software to adapt the SIPPER for automated oil droplet sensing, as well as software development for improved zooplankton recognition in water with oil present. 3. Conduct preliminary laboratory toxicity studies on lethal and sublethal oil toxic effects of untreated and dispersed MC-252 crude oil water-accommodated fractions on dominant and ecologically relevant northeast Gulf of Mexico zooplankton species.


CTD, Marine zooplankton, nutrients, biomass, zooplankton abundance, chlorophyll




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Point of Contact

Daly, Kendra
University of South Florida / College of Marine Science
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg , FL 33701

Funding Source


Start of Data Collection


End of Data Collection




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