Melissa “Missy” Partyka, Ph.D.

Oil Spill Extension Specialist
Melissa “Missy” Partyka, Ph.D.


251-438-5690 251-348-5436 (cell)


118 N Royal St.
Mobile, AL 36602



Missy Partyka joined the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium in 2018 as a member of the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant oil spill science outreach team. Based in the Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center in Mobile, Ala., she serves as an extension specialist to audiences in the region and around the country interested in learning more about oil spill science.

With a Ph.D. in integrated ecology from the University of California, Davis, Partyka came to Sea Grant with a record of working closely with the public to research complex environmental issues with potential human health impacts.

During her career, Partyka has worked on all three U.S. coasts and in the Caribbean as a marine scientist. Although she was living in California in 2010, she followed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with great interest, having obtained her master’s degree in coastal ecology at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs.

Partyka originally hails from Roseville, Minn., and obtained her bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. She lives in Ocean Springs with Ronny Bond, her husband and colleague, and their dog, Lady Jane.

Program Involvement

Oil Spill Science Outreach Program

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was established by a $500 million commitment from BP in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The 10-year research program aims to mitigate the impacts of hydrocarbon pollution and stressors on the marine environment and public health from the spill, as well as improve society’s understanding of oil spill issues. GoMRI provides support to the Sea Grant programs of the Gulf of Mexico (Florida, Mississippi-Alabama, Louisiana and Texas) for an extension and outreach effort to increase the use of oil spill science by people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf. This is a new model of a private entity engaging with the four Sea Grant programs in the Gulf of Mexico to develop a regional outreach program.