Texas A&M University System graduate students awarded more than $22,000 for research

May 27, 2016

By Tiffany Evans

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Twelve graduate students from three Texas A&M University System institutions will receive $22,048 in research funding for one-year grants starting June 1 from the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University.

The funds are awarded through Texas Sea Grant’s Grants-in-Aid of Graduate Research Program, which is intended to promote scientific excellence and achievement by providing small grants to graduate students enrolled at Texas A&M University (TAMU), Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) or Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) whose marine- or coastal-related research in any field of study is relevant to Texas, though not necessarily based in Texas.

“Texas Sea Grant’s Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program supports students in their early research career as they develop their research skills and learn the way to fund that research – grant proposal writing,” said Mia Zwolinski, Texas Sea Grant’s Research Coordinator. “They become more proficient in the proposal process, including finding funding opportunities and ensuring their applications are compliant with proposal guidelines. With mentorship from their faculty advisors, the students learn how to translate research needs into a competitive proposal narrative and develop a budget to support the project.”

All the students were awarded amounts ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 after a rigorous review process. The students, their degree level and institution, and the titles of their projects are listed below.

  • Ali Al-Badran, doctoral student in wildlife and fisheries sciences at TAMU: “Experimental evaluation of the ecotoxicological effects of common agricultural and household pesticide on aquatic organisms using shrimp and fish”
  • Patricia Faulkner, master’s degree student in marine biology at TAMUG: “Physiological effects of salinity stress in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)”
  • Christine Figgener, doctoral student in marine biology at TAMU: “Evolution and underlying mechanisms of female alternative reproductive strategies: Variation in habitat-use in olive Ridley sea turtles linked to their nesting polymorphism”
  • Jennifer Hemphill, master’s student in marine biology at TAMUCC: “Spatial-temporal distribution of microzooplankton along an estuarine eutrophication gradient”
  • Andrea Kealoha, doctoral student in oceanography at TAMU: “The influence of oceanic particulate organic matter uptake on coral reef calcification: Implications for ocean acidification”
  • Yui Matsumoto, doctoral student in marine biology at TAMUG: “The immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii): Model system for aging, regeneration, and cellular plasticity”
  • Andrew Pekowski, doctoral student in oceanography at TAMUG: “Estimating rates of subsidence using sedimentation over the Trinity River incised valley, Galveston Bay, Texas”
  • Noura Randle, doctoral student in oceanography at TAMU: “Uk’37 reconstructions of surface water temperatures during the Eocene-Oligocene transition to the late Miocene: A northwestern Pacific perspective on the onset of Antarctic glaciation”
  • Avery Scherer, doctoral student in life sciences at TAMUCC: “Use of novel predator diet cues in the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica
  • Jason Selwyn, doctoral student in marine biology at TAMUCC: “Determining the causes of spatial and temporal variation in the dispersal kernels of a marine fish”
  • Anne Tamalavage, master’s degree student in oceanography at TAMU: “Mapping hydrologic variability through measuring hydrogen isotopic signatures within Blackwood sinkhole, Abaco, northern Bahamas”
  • Phil Wernette, doctoral student in geography at TAMU: “Assessing the influence of geologic framework on barrier island resiliency with storm activity and sea-level rise”

More information about Texas Sea Grant's Grants-in-Aid of Graduate Research Program is available online at http://texasseagrant.org/funding/grants-in-aid-of-graduate-research-program-request-for-proposals/ or by contacting Mia Zwolinski at mzwolinski@tamu.edu or (979) 458-0449.

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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.