Newswise — Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond has several faculty members who can serve as experts for reporting purposes on the various environmental, biological, economic and social impacts of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Southeastern operates the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station in Pass Manchac, located between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Located in the Maurepas marshes and swamp, the facility serves as a valuable venue for wetlands research conducted by university scientists, graduate and undergraduate students.

Among the specialists available are:

Dr. Robert Moreau – Director of Southeastern’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, Dr. Moreau has a background in interdisciplinary environmental studies and can comment generally about the ecological effects of the oil leak.

Dr. Gary Shaffer, professor of biological sciences, is a specialist in wetlands biology and wetlands restoration and can comment on the impact of the spill on marsh plant life.

Dr. Kyle Piller, associate professor of biological sciences, is a specialist in fish growth and development and local fish species.

Dr. Roldan Valverde, assistant professor of biological sciences, is a specialist in animal physiology and an expert in the area of turtles. Sea turtles are among the most affected species impacted by the oil spill.

Dr. David Wyld, professor of management in the College of Business, can discuss the potential economic impact of the oil spill on fisheries and related industries.

Dr. David Burley, assistant professor of sociology, is a specialist in environmental sociology. He is the author of “Losing Ground: Identity and Land Loss in Coastal Louisiana” published by the University Press of Mississippi. Prior to coming to Southeastern, he worked for an applied environmental and disaster research center, CHART (“Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology”).

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