Texas Sea Grant awards almost $44,000 to 23 graduate students for research projects

May 29, 2018

By Cindie Powell

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University (TAMU) awarded $43,961 to 23 graduate students at three Texas A&M University System institutions.

The funds are awarded through Texas Sea Grant’s Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program, which provides small grants to students enrolled at the main TAMU campus in College Station, 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 awarded after a competitive proposal review process and are designed to promote scientific excellence and achievement.

“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 Assistant Director for Research and Fiscal Administration.

The 2018-19 Grants-In-Aid recipients, their institutions and projects are listed below.

  • Raven Blakeway, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology (interdisciplinary) at TAMUG, “Public perception of lionfish in Texas Gulf Coast counties.”
  • 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 (Phase 2).”
  • Patricia Faulkner, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology (interdisciplinary) at TAMUG, “Physiological effects of salinity stress in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).”
  • Alexandra Frolova, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUG, “Jellyfish (Class Scyphozoa) response to thermal stress.”
  • Candace Grimes, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology (interdisciplinary) at TAMUG, “Vectors of marine disease: The potential role of the corallivorous fireworm, Hermodice carunculata (Amphinomidae: Phylum Annelida).”
  • Polly Hajovsky, pursuing a master’s degree in fisheries and mariculture at TAMU, “The occurrence of microplastic in the diet of juvenile fish in Corpus Christi Bay and Upper Laguna Madre area.”
  • Zachary Hancock, pursuing a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology at TAMU, “A species by any other name: Delineating population structure from species divergence.”
  • Maureen Hayden, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMU, “Effects of beach erosion and vehicular traffic on talitrid amphipod populations in Texas.”
  • Laramie Jensen, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMU, “Seasonal and interannual changes in contaminant trace metal distributions in an anthropogenic Texas estuary (Galveston Bay).”
  • Eric Johnston, pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering at TAMU, “Rapid, portable, low-cost analysis of nanoplastics in waterways.”
  • Bumsoo Kim, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMU, “Multi-proxy reconstruction of marine gas hydrate dissociation: Lessons from the past for the future.”
  • JinYoung Kim, pursuing a doctorate in coastal engineering at TAMU, “Wave measurement for the identification of causes of wetland edge erosion in the Galveston Bay system.”
  • Xiaoqing Liu, pursuing a doctorate in paleoceanography and paleoclimate at TAMU, “Earth system climate sensitivity assessed by Neogene ocean temperature from the Pacific warm pool.”
  • Lee Pinnell, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Isolation and genomic analysis of naturally occurring marine bacteria that biodegrade polyhydroxyalkanoate plastics.”
  • Lixin Qu, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMU, “Effects of near-inertial oscillations on baroclinic instabilities in a large buoyancy driven current.”
  • Joseph Reustle, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Using oyster reef recovery following Hurricane Harvey to study interactions between disturbance and predation in natural communities.”
  • Catherine Risley, pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology at TAMUG, “You are what you eat: Combining chemical composition of anoxic sediments to metagenomic data of the resident microbial communities.”
  • Sebastian Rubiano, pursuing a master’s degree in chemistry at TAMUCC, “An assessment of sulfide intrusion and its relationship to genotypic diversity in the seagrass Halodule wrightii from the Texas Gulf Coast.”
  • Changwon Son, pursuing a doctorate in industrial systems engineering and human systems engineering at TAMU, “Identifying sources of resilience in large-scale disaster management through dynamic team interaction.”
  • Dominic Swift, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Assessing MHC-dependent mate choice in the dusky smoothhound (Mustelus canis) and blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus).”
  • Sarah Tominack, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Determination of nutrient sources fueling phytoplankton growth in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas.”
  • Tho Tran, pursuing a doctorate in urban and regional sciences at TAMU, “The quality of consolidated housing plan and its impact on affordable housing and community development activities in Texas coastal cities.”
  • Rachel Weisend, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC, “Spatial and temporal variability of microbial communities within mangrove systems.”

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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.