Gulf Benthic Taxonomy Assessment, LLC

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            GBTA utilizes modern microscopy equipment including dissecting microscopes for sample sorting and specimen identification and compound microscopes fitted with phase contrast objectives for critical observation of fine details.  These scopes also have the capability of providing digital images of organisms as well as rendering hand-drawn illustrations using drawing tube attachments.

            GBTA recently upgraded its facilities to provide biomass determinations using ash-free dry weight methods.  Equipment includes a bench-top muffle furnace capable of reaching temperatures of 1100 °C, drying oven, desiccation cabinet, and an analytical balance accurate to 0.0001 g. 


     GBTA has access to equipment for limited collecting excursions into near-shore environments including shallow estuarine waters and sand-beach intertidal zones.  Benthic samples are typically collected along the shoreline using hand-held box cores, 1/4 meter quadrants, and kicknets, while deeper samples may be collected from boats using ponar and Ekman grabs.  Deeper dwelling organisms such as ghost shrimps are qualitatively assessed using suction tubes (yabby pumps).  In addition to benthic samples, corresponding sediment samples (for geological statistics), water samples and hydrographic data (salinity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen) are usually collected.