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July 7, 2010
As a reporter/editor covering news of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, you may be seeking experts to offer comments or analysis.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has experts who can speak to the many different aspects of the BP oil spill and cleanup efforts. Should you need assistance finding an expert, please contact Christine Payton in the Office of Communications and Marketing at (337) 482-6477 or email payton@louisiana.edu.


Dr. Darryl Felder
Dr. Darryl Felder
Professor, Biology
337 482-6753 (office)

Expertise: Specialization in marine biodiversity, molecular phylogenetics, environmental physiology, and ecology of especially marine decapod crustaceans (crabs, shrimps and lobsters) of the Gulf of Mexico.

Felder co-authored of the Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters and Biota – a comprehensive reference book for scientists, researchers and students of marine biology. This book is being used as a baseline to measure effects of the oil spill on marine life. Felder, along with Dr. Suzanne Fredericq, recently received a $185,603 grant from the National Science Foundation to resample seaweeds and crustaceans in the Gulf of Mexico. The samples will be compared to previously collected material to determine which organisms are sensitive to oil pollution and which have the potential to subsequently recover.

Dr. Suzanne FredericqDr. Suzanne Fredricq
Professor, Biology
337 482-1291 (office)

Expertise: algae and seaweed.

Fredericq, along with Dr. Darryl Felder, recently received a $185,603 grant from the National Science Foundation to resample seaweeds and crustaceans in the Gulf of Mexico. The samples will be compared to previously collected material to determine which organisms are sensitive to oil pollution and which have the potential to subsequently recover.

Dr. Paul Klerks
Associate Professor, Biology
337 482-6356 (office)

Expertise: Long-term effects of environmental contaminants and other stressors on natural aquatic species and the ecology of exotic species.

Clean Up Response

Dr. Mark ZappiDr. Mark Zappi
Dean, College of Engineering
337 482-6685 (office)

Expertise: Discovery of novel energy sources that may ultimately be used to replace traditional energy sources; treatment of hazardous wastes and industrial waste streams using a variety of processes, such as biotechnology or chemical treatment; use of living organisms to produce chemicals that are of industrial value.

Dr. Zappi is a member of a university expert panel organized by the state to provide technical input to options it is considering. He is assisting with evaluation of potential solutions offered by private parties to problems facing responders and has met with vendors attempting to offer their services to BP and/or the state. Zappi is working with faculty across UL Lafayette and other institutions to organize a developmental effort to respond to the short and long term needs of the region.

Economic Impact
Dr. Ramesh KolluruDr. Ramesh Kolluru
Director, NIMSAT
337 739-1579 (cell)

Expertise: Supply chain management, economic analysis; business management; enterprise applications and portals databases, data mining and warehousing, advanced computing and visualization.

Dr. Kolluru is analyzing the economic impact of the oil spill. He also collects and reviews ideas for stopping or reducing the oil spill and forwards them to BP and the U.S. Coast Guard.


Dr. Ryan TetenDr. Ryan Teten
Assistant Professor, Political Science
337 482-6165 (office)

Expertise: Campaigns, elections, the U.S. presidency, U.S. Congress, political behavior, political communication and political socialization.

Dr. Teten can comment on the political process concerning the moratorium on deepwater drilling and the subsequent overturning of that moratorium.


Dr. Bob Gramling
Professor, Sociology
337 482-5375 (office)

Expertise: Environmental sociology, natural resource development, coastal restoration, social impact assessment and risk assessment.

Authored two books about offshore drilling and was chair of the National Peer Review Committee, Study of the Economic, Social and Psychological Impacts of the Exxon Valdes Oil Spill, 1990-91. In 1994, he authored “Oil in Troubled Waters: Perceptions” and two years later, he co-authored “Oil on the Edge: Offshore Development, Conflict, Gridlock.” Most recently, he co-authored “Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of Katrina and the Disasters of Tomorrow.”

John Lacour
Director of Health Sciences,
Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning
225 736-5560 (office)

Lacour is working with the Jefferson Parish Human Service Authority to support its mental health services to families and children affected by the BP oil spill, particularly children. Following Hurricane Katrina, the Picard Center at UL Lafayette tracked certain health and educational outcomes of children that were affected by the storm.

Visual Arts

Dr. Lynda FreseLynda Frese
Professor, Visual Arts
337 482-5773 (office)

Expertise: Art, photography, pre-history and ancient culture, religion.

Frese is creating artwork that will be part of the environmental publication Pacha Mama (meaning Earth Realm), which is being funded with a grant from the Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) program. Pacha Mama is an international publishing project. Frese recently spent time on Dauphin Island collecting photographs of the Gulf of Mexico for a series of artworks about the BP oil spill. This series will be included in her Pacha Mama project.

Document last revised Wednesday, July 7, 2010 1:56 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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