Dr. Mark Benfield, LSU
Mark has over 15 years of experience working with the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. He has conducted research on plankton and deep-sea marine life on ships and offshore platforms. Through an innovative partnership with BP, Shell, Chevron, Petrobras-America, and Nexen, Mark lead the Gulf SERPENT Project, creating a Gulf-wide deep-sea biological observation network based on deepwater drillships and rigs, which uses industrial ROVs to explore life in the deep sea and expand our understanding of life in the largest and least explored habitat on earth. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Mark worked closely with industry and the government to understand the impacts of the oil spill on zooplankton and deep-sea animals.