Texas Sea Grant awards $38,000 to 21 graduate students for research projects

June 05, 2017

By Cindie Powell

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University (TAMU) awarded $38,000 in research grants to 21 graduate students at three Texas A&M University System institutions.

The students are funded through Texas Sea Grant’s Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program, which provides small grants to 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. The grants are designed to promote scientific excellence and achievement; they are awarded after a competitive proposal review process.

“The Grants-In-Aid Program is designed to support students in their early careers as they develop their research skills and learn to navigate the grant proposal process,” said Mia Zwolinski, Texas Sea Grant’s Research Coordinator.

The 2017-18 Grants-In-Aid recipients, their institutions and projects are listed below.

  • Hailey Boeck, pursuing a master's degree in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Bonamia: Does it Mess with Texas? Survey for the oyster parasite Bonamia sp. in Texas bay systems.”
  • Kalman Bugica, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Controls upon winter-spring phytoplankton growth and planktonic food web structure in a subtropical estuary.”
  • Adam Bynum, pursuing a master's degree in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Modeling genetic diversity in non-equilibrium populations.”
  • Joshua Carter, pursuing a master's degree in marine biology at TAMUG, “Genetic assessment of habitat specificity and character displacement within a Gulf of Mexico marine contact zone.”
  • Adam Chorazyczewski, pursuing a master's degree in fisheries and mariculture at TAMUCC, “Bacterial-algal interactions: Is there an effect on growth and lipid production?”
  • Meredith Diskin, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, “Differences in habitat structure complexity impact predator-prey interactions.”
  • Audrey Douglas, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, “Submarine groundwater discharge derived dissolved organic nitrogen: The overlooked component in coastal systems and nutrient budgets.”
  • Nicole Elledge, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Quantifying the effect of stormwater runoff on Enterococcus faecalis population structure and antibiotic resistance in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas.”
  • Kesley Gibson, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Mapping fish habitat: Where do they go?”
  • Rachel Glazner, pursuing a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology at TAMUG, “The effects of plant structure on predation success of Callinectes sapidus: Implications of mangrove expansion.”
  • Bimal Gyawali, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, “Evaluation of coastal groundwater storage variability: Implications on the effects of climate anomalies on submarine groundwater discharge.”
  • Pranav Kannan, pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering at TAMU, “Towards the development of a sensor substrate for the detection of microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) in offshore structures.”
  • Melissa McCutcheon, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, “Investigating the relationship between oyster reef substrate, sediment geochemistry, and oyster shell preservation in the Mission-Aransas Estuary.”
  • Mark McKay, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, “Changes in the late Holocene paleoenvironment of southeast Texas reverse estuaries evidenced by multiple proxy observations: Request for funds to perform isotopic analysis of foraminiferal microfossils.”
  • Megan Mullis, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Antimicrobial production and resistance gene expression in Mission-Aransas National Estuary Research Reserve, Texas.”
  • Brianna Myre, pursuing a doctorate in biology at TAMU, “A novel method for assessment of feeding state in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).”
  • Benjamin Ritt, pursuing a master's degree in marine resource management at TAMUG, “Using UAS based photogrammetry for the study of beach replenishment projects in Galveston, Texas.”
  • Thomas TinHan, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUG, “Spatiotemporal dynamics of movement and habitat use of bull sharks in a Texas estuary.”
  • Hongjie Wang, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, “Photochemical degradation of dissolved organic carbon in Baffin Bay, Texas.”
  • Rachel Weisend, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Evaluating methane production from Texas coastal mangroves.”
  • Rachel Woodworth, pursuing a master's degree in environmental science at TAMUCC, “Developing educational modules to reflect the teachings of mangroves and biogeochemical process of the carbon cycle.”

More information about the Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program is available at http://texasseagrant.org/funding/grants-in-aid-of-graduate-research-program/.

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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.