Limón wins first Texas Sea Grant award at Texas A&M’s Student Research Week

April 05, 2017

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A senior student whose research focuses on nitrification inhibitors is the recipient of the first Texas Sea Grant Special Award at last week’s Texas A&M University (TAMU) Student Research Week (SRW).

Vanessa Limón, a plant and environmental soil science major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, received the $250 prize for her poster presentation, “Nitrification Inhibition Effectiveness of Dicyandiamide vs. Nitrapyrin in Three Texas Soils.” Limón is conducting her research under the mentorship of Dr. Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson and Dr. Jake Mowrer.

Nitrification is the process through which elemental nitrogen such as that found in agricultural fertilizers is broken down by bacteria into nitrates that can leach from the soil and enter surface and groundwater. Nitrate pollution in water bodies like estuaries can cause eutrophication, the proliferation of phytoplankton in response to the increased nutrients and the resulting oxygen depletion.

SRW is a four-day event highlighting research at the university with a special emphasis on student participation. The program provides a venue for students to share their work through oral presentations and posters, and it also gives the university community an opportunity to see the breadth and depth of research conducted at TAMU.

Texas Sea Grant began offering the special award this year to honor the undergraduate or graduate student from any discipline who submits the most outstanding oral presentation or poster that shows the most innovative, yet practical research that exemplifies the focus areas of Texas Sea Grant: Resilient Coastal Communities and Economics, Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Environmental Literacy and Coastal Workforce Development.

TAMU’s SRW is the largest single-university student-run research symposium. It is hosted by the Graduate and Professional Student Council. This was the 20th year of the program.


Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.