Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

Committee Chair(s)

Jürgen Symanzik


Jürgen Symanzik


Daniel Coster


Yan Sun


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. Considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, oil flowed for three months and approximately five million barrels of oil spilled through by mid-July 2010. In this report, we analyze fish and bird data to assess the impact of the oil spill on the Gulf wildlife. Our findings based on the available fish data for 2005, 2006, and 2010 are not very helpful to make a judgement on the negative impact of the oil spill on fish species. On the other hand, the bird data analysis shows that the closer the surface oil spill area approached to bird habitats, the more dead birds were observed. The highest number of dead birds was observed in July and August when birds bred and raised their offspring. However, the migration behaviour of different bird species makes it impossible to entirely estimate the full impact of the oil spill on birds.


This work made publicly available electronically on October 2, 2012.

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