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ACER scientists are examining the relationship between genetic, taxonomic and functional diversity and ecosystem resilience at several scales and in many different groups of organisms to oil exposure. Divided into 7 integrated research groups focusing on the coastal ecosystems of the northern Gulf of Mexico extending from the mid-continental shelf to inshore oyster reefs and coastal wetlands. Research results will not only allow for an assessment of oil spill impacts, but more generally, may help to predict the impacts of other types of disturbance and the importance of these coastal habitats.