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Benthic Ecology



Squat lobster (Eumunida picta)

The Benthic Ecology Group has an active research program examining fauna living in and on the seafloor in a variety of natural and artificial marine habitats, including deep-sea and shallow-water corals, chemosynthetic seeps, shipwrecks, marine canyons and wetland communities. Current projects focus on community structure, biodiversity, trophic structure, and habitat connectivity of marine benthic ecosystems. In addition to increasing general knowledge, the data acquired through these projects can assist with management and conservation efforts for fragile marine communities, including corals and wetlands.


Current Research


dot icon DISCOVRE PROJECT - Diversity, Systematics, and Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems

dot icon Trophic coupling and habitat connectivity among coral reef, mangrove, and seagrass fishes and benthic invertebrate communities of the Virgin Islands National Park (VIIS) and Coral Reef National Monument (VICR)

dot icon Synthesis of the potential environmental impacts associated with offshore sand dredging for beach and coastal restoration



    Contact information:
    USGS | SESC - Benthic Ecology
    POC: Amanda Dempopoulos amandad@usgs.gov
    Gainesville Lab
    7920 NW 71st Street
    Gainesville, FL 32653
    Tel: 352-378-8181
    Fax: 352-378-4956

Recent Publications

Prouty, N. G., Fisher, C. R., Demopoulos, A. W., & Druffel, E. R. (2014). Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. [Journal Abstract]
Demopoulos, A.W.J., J.R. Bourque, and J. Frometa. 2014. Biodiversity and community composition of sediment macrofauna associated with deep-sea Lophelia pertusa habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. Deep-Sea Res. I, 93:91-103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2014.07.014
Fisher, C.R. A.W.J. Demopoulos, E.E. Cordes, I.B. Baums, H.K. White, J.R. Bourque. 2014. Coral communities as indicators of ecosystem-level impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Spill. BioScience 2014 64 (9): 796-807 doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu129
Prouty, N. G., E. B. Roark, A. E. Koenig, A. W. J. Demopoulos, F. C. Batista, B. D. Kocar, D. Selby, M. D. McCarthy, and F. Mienis (2014), Deep-sea coral record of human impact on watershed quality in the Mississippi River Basin, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 28, doi:10.1002/2013GB004754. [Sound Waves Article] [Journal Article]
Chaytor, J., Demopoulos, A.W.J., Ruppel, C. 2013. Exploring Undersea Terrain Off the Northern U.S. Atlantic Coast Via Telepresence-Enabled Research Cruise. [Sound Waves Article]
Hargrove, John S., Parkyn, Daryl C., Murie, Debra J., Demopoulos, Amanda W. J., and Austin, James D. (2012). Augmentation of French grunt diet description using combined visual and DNA-based analyses. Marine and Freshwater Research 63, 740750. [Journal Abstract]
Demopoulos, A.W.J., and Strom, D.G., 2012, Benthic community structure and composition in sediment from the northern Gulf of Mexico shoreline, Texas to Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 20121153, 15 p.


Cushion Star (Oreaster reticulatus)


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