The Whitehead lab was just awarded a new 5-year grant to study how oil exposures and pathogen exposures may interact to affect fish health. This study may shed insights into the contributions of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and pathogen stress to the massive 1993 collapse of the herring fishery in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The project will involve laboratory challenge experiments, using comparative physiology, immunology, and transcriptomics, to discover causes and consequences of oil + pathogen interactions. We will also sequence/assemble/annotate a reference genome for Pacific herring, and track population genetic change through time, dating from the Exxon Valdez spill to current day, to illuminate how the spill and collapse affected genetic diversity within Prince William Sound compared to another Alaska population that was not exposed to oil and did not collapse. This work is in collaboration with Paul Hershberger (USGS). We will also partner with Nat Scholz and John Incardona (NOAA). The study is funded by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustees Council.