Discover Your Island



August 4 Ms. Jacque Campbell (M.S., faculty advisor Dr. Dave Felix), Ms. Katherine Martin, Ms. Kieu Tran (M.S., faculty advisor Dr. Jeremy Conkle) and Mr. Cole Castleberry (M.S. faculty advisor Dr. Lee Smee, now at Dauphin Island Sea Lab) officially graduate from the CMSS program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Congratulations for the achievements and good luck with your future endeavors!

Jacque Campbell Kate Martin Kieu Tran ccastleberry.jpg

August 1 CMSS graduate Michelle Culver (MS 2018, former faculty advisor Dr. Jim Gibeaut) is awarded the 2018 Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellowship administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. This is a program that helps scientists hone their skills by putting them to practice for the benefit of Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems. Ms. Culver will work on the staff of the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Office for a year.

Culver on Gulf Research Program

July 18 The National Science Foundation awards a Major Research Instrumentation grant to CMSS faculty Drs. Jeremy Conkle, Hussain Abdulla, Brandi Reese, and Lin Zhang. This grant will enable these scientists to aquire a GC Triple Quadruple Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS/MS), which will be used to study biogeochemical cycling and environmental contaminants. Drs. Dave Felix, Jim Silliman, Richard Coffin, and Mr. Tony Woods are also a part of this project.

Jeremy Conkle Hussain Abdulla Brandi Reese Lin Zhang

June 10 CMSS PhD students Melissa McCutcheon, Lily Walker, and Hongming Yao attend The ASLO 2018 Summer Meeting in Victoria, Canada and present their research.

Aslo 2018

May 31  CMSS PhD student Audrey Douglas receives $2000 grant from Texas Sea Grant Grant-in-Aid Program. Her research is entitled "Submarine groundwater discharge derived dissolved organic nitrogen: The overlooked component in coastal systems and nutrient budgets (Phase 2)".

Audrey Douglas - Composition and fate of submarine groundwater discharge-derived dissolved organic nitrogen

May 15 CMSS program welcomes two new PhD students - Ms. Mariana C. León Pérez (faculty advisor Dr. Michael Starek) and Ms. Kelsi Schwind (faculty advisor Dr. James Gibeaut). 

Mariana C. León Pérez   Kelsi Schwind

May 12 Dr. Hongjie Wang (Ph.D., faculty advisor Xinping Hu), Ms. Michelle Culver (M.S., faculty advisor Dr. James Gibeaut), and Ms. Jamie Smith (M.S., faculty advisor Paul Montagna) officially graduate from the CMSS program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Congratulations for the achievements and good luck with your future endeavors!

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April 5 CMSS MS students Katherine Martin and Michelle Culver win 1st and 2nd place at the Third 3MT competition, respectively.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi held its first 3MT®competition during the 2015-2016 academic year, with separate competitions for Doctoral and Master’s graduate students. 

Michelle Culver and Kathrine Martin

February 9 CMSS PhD student Sajjad Abdullajintakam receives funding from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid Program. He has been selected to receive $2500 in grant funds thanks to the Michel T. Halbouty Named Grants. Congratulations Sajjad!

Sajjad Abdullajintakam

January 16 CMSS program welcomes new PhD student - Terry Palmer. Terry will be working with Dr. Jennifer Pollack for his graduate research.

 Terry Palmer


December 22 The National Science Foundation awards a grant to CMSS faculty Dr. Hussain Abdulla on a study entitled "Peptide deamination as a source of refractory dissolved organic matter in marine sediments". This is a joint project with Dr. David Burdige at Old Dominion University and Dr. Tomoko Komada at San Francisco State University. Dr. Abdulla is the lead PI on this project with a total budget of $1.17 million.

Hussain Abdulla

December 18 CMSS PhD student Melissa McCutcheon wins the Atlee M. and John W. Cunningham Memorial Research Award. The award is established for graduate students in the following research focus areas: coastal, marine, and environmental sciences with an emphasis on watershed resources, processes, and policies. The Center for Coastal Studies of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi administers this award.

December 16 Drs. Elena Kobrinski Keen (faculty advisor Dr. Richard McLaughlin) and Ryan Rezek (faculty advisor Dr. Jennifer Pollack) officially graduate from the CMSS program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Congratulations for the achievements and good luck with your future endeavors!

Elena Kobrinski Keen    Ryan Rezek

December 11 CMSS PhD students Audrey Douglas and Melissa McCutcheon win the Outstanding Research Assistant Award and Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, respectively. The College of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi administers these awards to recognize significant contributions from the graduate students to the university community.

Audrey Douglas    Melissa McCutcheon

November 14 Drs. Abdulla and Murgulet reveal decades-old hidden pollutants in Nueces Bay using advanced high resolution accurate mass spectrometry.

Nueces Bay

November 3 Kieu Tran and Michelle Culver both receive the Minorities in Natural Resources Conservation (MINRC) Student Stipend to attend the 2017 SEAFWA Conference.

November 3 Kieu Tran gets 2nd place in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Photo Competition in the Data & Monitoring Theme (pictured Jake Berryhill, MS student in Dr. Starek's lab setting up a drone).

Jake Berryhill

September 21 The National Science Foundation awards a grant to CMSS faculty Drs. Patrick, Hogan, and Reese on a study entitled "RAPID: Measuring the response of stream communities to a punctuated disturbance across a semi-arid to sub-humid gradient". This research team will conduct a series of field studies to examine the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on ecosystem processes and organisms across trophic levels of coastal streams in mid to south coastal Texas.

Chris Patrick  Derek Hogan  Brandi Reese

September 20 The National Science Foundation awards a grant to CMSS faculty Drs. Montagna, Hu, and Wetz on a study entitled "RAPID: Capturing the Signature of Hurricane Harvey on Texas Coastal Lagoons". This research team will conduct a series of field and lab studies to examine the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on biogeochemistry and organisms of lagoons in mid to south Texas coast.

Paul Montagna  Xinping Hu  Michael Wetz

September 18 Melissa McCutcheon, PhD candidate, is elected as the Student Representative for the Gulf Estuary Research Society (GERS), a regional Affiliate Society of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. She will serve the 2017-2019 term.

Melissa McCutcheon

September 11 Hongjie Wang, PhD candidate, publishes a paper "Decadal fCO2 trends in global ocean margins and adjacent boundary current-influenced areas" in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. This work is featured on TAMUCC website.

September 8 Elizabeth Del Rosario, CMSS PhD student, along with Marine Biology PhD student Joey Reustle, are selected by the Institute of Teaching and Mentoring to participate in the 24th Institute on Teaching and Mentoring from October 26-October 29 in Atlanta, GA. They are among the 15 minority PhD students selected from partner institutions across the Texas A&M University System on a project funded by the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Program of the National Science Foundation.

September 5 CMSS program welcomes new MS students - Elaine Kurr and Mariana Carolina Nieva Tamasiunas and new Ph.D. students - Jenna Cooper, Larissa Dias, Thomas Lavigne, and Quinn McColly.

Elaine Kurr Maria Nieva Tamasiunas Jenna Cooper Larissa Dias Thomas Levigne Quinn McColly

August 8 CMSS alumina Dr. Brittany Blomberg (former faculty advisors Dr. Paul Montagna and Dr. Jennifer Pollack) is named a 2017 Science Policy Fellow by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Bloomberg is now employed at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and her host will be the Texas General Land Office.

July 10 Hongming Yao, PhD candidate, publishes a paper "Responses of carbonate system and CO2 flux to extended drought and intense flooding in a semiarid subtropical estuary" in the journal Limnology and Oceanography.

June 14-18 Dr. Paula Rose co-leads an OneGulf cruise with the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) off the coast of Texas to examine hypoxia issues.

June 14-17  Dr. Richard Coffin joins University of Auckland and University of Southern Calfornia to co-lead International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) planning in Sydney, Australia for a site off New Zealand.

June 12 Emily Cira (fall 2013 cohort, faculty advisor Dr. Michael Wetz), currently a PhD candidate, receives the prestigious Knauss Fellowship from NOAA. Check out more about this fellowship. Congratulations Emily!

Emily Cira

May 19 Melissa Rohal, PhD candidate working under Dr. Paul Montagna, is named Student of the Month by the The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE), a research consortium funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative


May 19 Six CMSS graduate students receive grants from Texas Sea Grant Grant-in-Aid Program, along with 9 other TAMUCC graduate students. The awardees and their proposed projects are listed below:

Meridith Diskin - Differences in habitat structure complexity impact predator-prey interactions

Audrey Douglas - Composition and fate of submarine groundwater discharge-derived dissolved organic nitrogen

Bimal Gyawali - Evaluation of coastal groundwater storage variabiltiy: implications on the effects of climate anomalies on submarine groundwater discharge

Melissa McCutcheon - Investigating the relationship between oyster reef substrate, sediment geochemistry, and oyster shell preservation in the Mission-Aransas Estuary

Mark McCay - 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

Hongjie Wang - Photochemical degradation of dissolved organic carbon in Baffin Bay, Texas

May 1 Elena Kobrinski Keen (fall 2013 cohort), currently a PhD candidate, publishes an article "The billion dollar problem brewing in the Gulf" in the Environment Coastal & Offshore magazine.

April - May PhD Student Mohammad Barzegar working under Dr. Darek Bogucki, contributes to Submesoscale Processes and Lagrangian Analysis on the Shelf (SPLASH) experiment took place in the northern Gulf of Mexico, the research was about coastal ocean surface currents and how oil pollutants might be transported via these currents.

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April 17  PhD student - Meridith Diskin's paper entitled "Effects of black mangrove Avicennia germinans expansion on salt marsh nekton assemblages before and after a flood" is accepted for publication in the journal Hydrobiologia.

February 3  PhD student - Meridith Diskin's co-authored paper entitled "Mangrove expansion into salt marshes alters associated faunal communities" is accepted for publication in the journal Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science.