LSU Coast & Environment Dean Receives Lifetime Recognition


February 7, 2019           

BATON ROUGE – On Feb. 7, The Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative, or GOMURC, recognized Christopher D’Elia for his lifetime of dedication and achievement in support of a healthy and sustainable Gulf of Mexico environment and economy. He is a professor and dean of LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment and a founding GOMURC board member. photo of dean d'elia posed with a framed photo of the gulf of mexico

D’Elia is the first recipient of the newly instated Wes Tunnell Lifetime Recognition for Gulf Science and Conservation and was acknowledged at the 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans. Kelly Lucas, GOMURC chair and director of the Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center presented the award to D’Elia in honor of Dr. John Wesley “Wes” Tunnell Jr., a prolific marine ecologist and biologist in the Life Sciences Department of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Endowed Chair of Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.

“Having known Wes Tunnell, this honor is incredibly special to me. His work truly defined professionalism in research and teaching in the Gulf,” D’Elia said. “I’ve had the privilege of a career in which I could contribute to better understanding and stewardship of the coastal marine environment. And, I hope that with each passing year this award will create wider recognition of the value of scientists and educators in the Gulf region.”


photo of Dean D'elia (middle) posed with a framed photo of the gulf of mexico and members of GOMURC

D’Elia has served as professor and dean of the LSU College of the Coast & Environment since 2009. Under his leadership, the college’s number of academic offerings has increased, including the establishment of a Ph.D. program in Environmental Sciences, fast-track programs in public health and law, and more concentrations for the Coastal Environmental Science degree. D’Elia is also responsible for launching LSU’s chapter of EnvironMentors, a national program that pairs high school students that are under-represented in the sciences with college mentors who help them complete environmental research projects and pursue college scholarships.

He has received numerous research grants and has authored or coauthored more than 80 scientific publications on the nutrient dynamics of estuaries and coral reefs, science policy and energy and environment. Throughout his career, D’Elia has been a strong advocate for science-based environmental stewardship, strengthening international science partnerships and fostering access to environmental education.




Contact Christine Wendling

LSU College of the Coast & Environment



Alison Satake

LSU Media Relations



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