Newswise — As efforts to address the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continue, University of Alabama experts are available to comment on areas ranging from the needs of small businesses devastated by the disaster to petroleum engineering, water quality and ecosystem issues.

Experts include:

Brian Davis, of the Alabama Small Business Development Center, based at The University of Alabama. The center is deploying specialists to the Gulf Coast area to provide counseling and training. Working in coordination with local, state and federal officials to assist businesses, the center’s representatives are helping disaster loan specialists in Bayou La Batre and helping staff a one-stop business center in Gulf Shores.

Dr. Julia Cherry, assistant professor in New College and biological sciences, who is conducting research on wetlands near the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Peter Clark, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, is an expert on oil production and could discuss petroleum engineering, the rig, wellhead, and other operational issues.

Dr. Philip Johnson, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, is an expert in petroleum engineering and could discuss the rig, wellhead, and other operational issues. Johnson can also discuss the environmental impact and cleanup.

For a broader range of oil spill related experts, see For more information or assistance in finding a source, media may call the Office of Media Relations at 205/348-5320 or e-mail or