Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

David W. Murphy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andres Tejada-Martinez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Bradford J. Gemmell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Benjamin Dubansky, Ph.D.


cardiovascular flow, Crude oil vapors, Langmuir circulation, oil droplet retention, Stommel retention zone, zooplankton swimming


This Ph.D. dissertation deals with the study of the health effects of crude oil vapors from oil spills, the effect of Langmuir circulation on the dispersion of oil droplets during oil spill events, and the biological significance of Langmuir circulation. The introduction to areas of three major research projects undertaken during my Ph.D. is included in chapter 1 and the relevant literature review is included in chapter 2. The first research project described in chapter 3 involves the quantification of health effects on embryonic Gulf killifish due to exposure to crude oil vapors. The second research project described in chapter 4 presents the laboratory-scale experimental investigation of the wind-driven oceanic turbulence called Langmuir circulation and its effects on the dispersion and retention of oil droplets in the water column. The third research project described in chapter 5 presents the experimental investigation of the effect of Langmuir circulation and crude oil exposure on the swimming behavior of zooplankton like Daphnia magna. In this way, this dissertation covers the health and environmental aspects of oil spills, and the environmental and biological effects of Langmuir circulation. Finally, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations for future works for each research project are presented in chapter 6.