Published: Jan 21, 2013 7:10 AM EST
Updated: Jan 21, 2013 10:14 AM EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who was in charge of cleaning up BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, will be the keynote speaker at an international scientific conference about the Gulf.
 
His speech Monday in New Orleans kicks off hundreds of scientific presentations through Wednesday. They range from socioeconomic effects of the spill to developments in dispersant science and technology.
 
On Tuesday, a public forum is planned on the Gulf's ecosystems and prospects for recovery - with a chance to ask questions of spill investigators Donald Boesch and Steven Murawski.
 
Moderated by the National Science Foundation's David Conover, they'll cover topics including what has happened to the oil, impact on the food chain and effectiveness of the oil spill response.