Texas Sea Grant awards nearly $50 thousand to 20 graduate students for research

June 24, 2019

By Sara Carney

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University (TAMU) awarded $49,804 in research grants to 20 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). Funded projects must be marine- or coastal-related research and 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  Assistant Director, Research and Fiscal Administration at Texas Sea Grant.

The 2019-21 Grants-In-Aid recipients, their institutions and projects are listed below.

  • Mohsen Aghashahi, pursuing a doctorate in civil engineering-water resources at TAMU, 
    “Application of supervised machine learning techniques to detect leakage in a water distribution testbed using accelerometers, hydrophones, and pressure transducers”
  • Elizabeth DiBona, pursuing a master’s degree in biology at TAMUCC, 
    “A holistic approach to assess the impact of microplastic fibers during fish development”
  • James Fiorendino, pursuing a doctorate in biological oceanography at TAMU, 
    “Strength and numbers: Does population density influence toxicity of Dinophysis?”
  • Janelle Goeke, pursuing a doctorate in coastal ecology at TAMUG, 
    “Bottom-up effects of a shift in wetland foundational species on basal consumers in the Gulf of Mexico”
  • Mary Hannon, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUG, 
    “Elucidating epitoky in annelids using differential gene expression of the common clam worm, Alitta succinea (Family: Nereididae)”
  • Tacey Hicks, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMU,
    “Does coral reef heterotrophy of external particulate nutrients support ecosystem scale calcification?”
  • Kendall Johnson, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC,
    “Exploring evolutionary links in genes in adaptive radiations of gobies (gobiiformes) by targeted gene capture”
  • Bumsoo Kim, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMU, 
    “Global significance of anaerobic oxidation of organic matter by sulfate reduction: Insights from lipid biomarkers”
  • Trang Le, pursuing a doctorate in recreation, park, and tourism sciences at TAMU, 
    “Are we at the same page? The perception of local governments and coastal communities concerning the role of green infrastructure contribution to resilience”
  • Wing Man Lee, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUCC,
    “Comparison of nitrogen (N) sources in Baffin Bay and San Antonio Bay under different freshwater inflow regimes using compound specific isotope ratios in amino acids”
  • Mariah Livernois, pursuing a doctorate in marine biology at TAMUG,
    “Comparing the life histories of coastal and oceanic sharks of Texas using natural tracers in vertebrae”
  • Terry Palmer, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, 
    “Quantifying the biomagnification of contaminants in epibenthic marine fauna”
  • Kijin Seong, pursuing at doctorate in urban and regional science at TAMU,
    “Neighborhood change after floodplain buyouts in Harris County”
  • Serena Smith, pursuing a master’s degree in oceanography at TAMU, 
    “How does percent coral coverage affect oceanic particulate organic matter uptake and subsequently support coral reef ecosystem calcification?”
  • 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)”
  • Janelle Steffen, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMU, 
    “Iron isotopes in Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico”
  • Anne Tamalavage, pursuing a doctorate in oceanography at TAMUG,
    “Developing geochemical evidence for hydroclimate variability in the subtropical western North Atlantic over the last 45,000 years” 
  • Jill Thompson-Grim, pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology, at TAMUCC, 
    “Does the configuration of decommissioned oil and gas platforms affect red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) density and total biomass in an artificial reef site?”
  • Tyler Winkler, pursuing a doctorate in geological oceanography at TAMU,
    “Annually-resolved archive of paleohurricane frequency in the western Caribbean over the last 900 years: Implications for the US Gulf Coast”
  • Hao Yu, pursuing a doctorate in coastal and marine system science at TAMUCC, 
    “Contribution of sediment methane to the atmosphere from Subtropical Lagoons of Corpus Christi, Texas”