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DISCOVRE - Diversity, Systematics and Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems Project:

The U.S. Geological Survey’s DISCOVRE project brings together a multi-disciplinary team to study the biology, ecology, and connectivity of deep-sea coral environments with the goal of providing the science necessary for their effective conservation and management.


Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2012 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM

This 5-year multidisciplinary research program will investigate hard bottom habitats, shipwrecks, and submarine canyons on the continental margin of the eastern United States off Virginia and Maryland. Investigators will examine the biological, chemical and physical oceanography in these areas to help understand the community structure, connectivity and trophodynamics of deep-sea ecosystems in submarine canyons.

Research THEMES

By design, the USGS DISCOVRE project is integrated with larger regional efforts involving the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and academic institutions.

Media Inquiries: Amanda Demopoulos, (352) 264-3490,

News & Events

Importance of Ocean Exploration in Advancing Marine Research

On March 24, Amanda Demopoulos (SESC) will present an invited lecture for the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Aquatic Academy ( She will discuss the importance of ocean exploration in advancing marine research for the Aquarium’s series titled “The Case of Ocean Exploration.” The presentation will be broadcast live on the following website: (POC: Amanda Demopoulos, Amanda Demopoulos)

  • Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [Journal Abstract]

  • Cultured fungal associates from the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa. [Journal Abstract]

  • Megafaunal-habitat associations at a deep-sea coral mound off North Carolina, USA.

  • Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico. [Journal Abstact]

  • all publications

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