Alumni of the CMSS program



Diana Del Angel, Ph.D. 2021

Faculty Advisor: David Yoskowitz
Social-Ecological System Approach for Assessing Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and the Benefits of Natural And Nature-Based Features



Terry Palmer, Ph.D. 2021

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Pollack
 Effects of Contamination from Antarctic Research Stations on Marine Benthic Fauna

Awards and Honors: 2021 Outstanding Doctoral Student



Melissa McCustcheon, Ph.D. 2021

Faculty Advisor: Xinping Hu
Spatial and temporal trends and controlling factors of carbonate chemistry in the estuaries of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Awards and Honors: 2018 Outstanding Teaching Assistant



Mohammad Barzegar-Paiin-Lamouki, Ph.D. 2021

Faculty Advisor: Darek Bogucki
Turbulence within the upper ocean boundary layer 


Audrey Douglas

Audrey R. Douglas, Ph.D. 2020

Faculty Advisor: Dorina Murgulet
Dissertation: The Importance of Submarine Groundwater Discharge on Nutrient Fluxes and Dissolved Organic Matter Molecular Composition in a Semi-arid, Highly Disturbed Estuary

Awards and Honors: 2018 Outstanding Research Assistant



Ryan Turner, M.S. 2020

Faculty Advisor: Mohamed Ahmed
Thesis: Investigating Fault Control on Reservoir Accumulation and Spatial Distribution Using 3D Seismic Data and Well Logging Data: A Case Study from the Lower Oligocene Vicksburg Formation, Brooks County, Texas

Awards and Honors: 2020 Outstanding Graduate from the College of Science and Engineering


Sajjad Abdullajintakam

Sajjad Abdullajintakam, Ph.D. 2020

Faculty Advisor: Richard Coffin
Dissertation: Impacts of Subsurface Methane Transport on Shallow Marine Sediment Geochemistry

Emily Cira

Emily Cira, Ph.D. 2020

Faculty Advisor: Michael Wetz
Dissertation: Phytoplankton Dynamics in a Eutrophying South Texas Estuary

Awards and Honors: 2016 Outstanding Research Assistant, NOAA Knauss Fellow (2017)

Mark McKay

Mark McKay, Ph.D. 2020

Faculty Advisors: Mark Besenon and Paul Montagna
Dissertation: Understanding the temporal and spatial development of south Texas Bays and Estuaries from a paleoperspective

Outreach: President of Satellite Educators Association (2013- present)

Quinn McColly

Quinn McColly, Ph.D. 2020

Faculty Advisor: David Yoskowitz
Dissertation:  Market Mechanisms and Efficient Allocation of Water: Modeling Water Prices, Option Contracts on Water, and Enhancing Frameworks

Photo of Samreen Siddiqui

Samreen Siddiqui, Ph.D. 2020

Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Conkle
Dissertation: Future water quality challenges to aquaculture and influences on product safety

Benjamin Johnston

Benjamin Johnston, Ph.D. 2019

Faculty Advisor: Feiqin Xie
Dissertation: Using COSMIC and TRMM satellite data for understanding the effects of thunderstorms on the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere

Nana Liu, Ph.D. 2019

Faculty Advisor: Chuntao Liu
Dissertation: Large-scale Thermodynamic Environments Favoring Intense Convection: a Perspective from Satellite Observations


Abishek Adhikari, Ph.D. 2019

Faculty Advisor: Chuntao Liu
Dissertation: Satellite Remote Sensing of Ice Precipitation Events



Zackary Olsen, Ph.D. 2019

Faculty Advisor: Greg Stunz
Dissertation: Defining Essential Fish Habitat in an Ecosystem Context: Practical Identification and Relevance to Management



Hongming Yao, Ph.D. 2019

Faculty Advisor: Xinping Hu
Dissertation: Carbon Budget in Coastal Estuaries of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico under Hydrologic Control

Awards and Honors: 2nd Place 3-Minute Thesis Competition (2019)




Chuyen Nguyen, Ph.D. 2019

Faculty Advisor: Michael Starek
Dissertation: Development of Geodetic Imaging Techniques and Computational Approaches for Marsh Observation




Melissa Rohal, Ph.D. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Paul Montagna
Dissertation: Ecosystem Impacts of Oil Spills on the Offshore Environment in the Gulf of Mexico

Awards and Honors: First place Doctoral 3-Minute Thesis Competition winner (2017)




Cole Castleberry, M.S. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Lee Smee
Thesis: The Risk Assessment Capability and Defense Induction Strategy of the Eastern Oyster Crassostrea virginica




Katherine Martin, M.S. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Conkle
Quantifying and Characterizing the Mississippi River's Contribution of Microplastic Debris to the Gulf of Mexico




Kieu Tran, M.S. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Conkle
Applying Segmentation and Neural Networks to Detect and Quantify Marine Debris from Aerial Images Captured by an Unmanned Aerial System and Mobile Device





Jacque Campbell, M.S. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Dave Felix
Investigating the Isotopic Composition of Reactive Nitrogen in a South Texas Estuary (Baffin Bay).





Hongjie Wang, Ph.D. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Xinping Hu
Dissertation: Drivers of Carbon and Oxygen Dynamics in Disparate Marine Ecosystems

Awards and Honors: 2017 Outstanding Research Assistant


Michelle Culver, M.S. 2018

Faculty Advisor: James Gibeaut
Thesis: Beach Geomorphology and Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) Nest Site Selection Along Padre Island, TX, USA

Awards and Honors: 2nd Place MS 3-Minute Thesis Competition winner (2017)


Jamie Smith, M.S. 2018

Faculty Advisor: Paul Montagna
Thesis: Multiple Stressor Effects on Marcobenthic Communities in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas


Elena Kobrinski Keen, Ph.D. 2017

Faculty Advisor: Richard McLaughlin
Dissertation: Status, Strategies, and Cost Management of Offshore Oil Rig Platform Decommissioning and Rigs-to-Reefs Programs in the Gulf of Mexico: Addressing Decommissioning Challenges Using a Multi-Criteria Approach



Ryan Rezek, Ph.D. 2017

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Pollack
Dissertation: Ecological Structure and Function of Restored Habitats Across a Range of Coastal Environments



Kaitlyn Schroeder (Spain), Ph.D. 2017

Faculty Advisor: Delbert Smee
Dissertation: Dazed and Confused: Pesticides Alter Physiology, Behavior, and Predatory-Prey Interactions of Juvenile and Adult Blue Crabs (Callinectes Sapidus)

Awards and Honors: 2014 Outstanding Teaching Assistant, 2015 Sea Grant Knauss Fellow



Rachel Edwards, M.S. 2016

Faculty Advisor: James Gibeaut
Thesis: Rising Above: Impacts of Coastal Policies with Respect to Sea Level Rise in Galveston Bay, Texas


Lauren Hutchison

Lauren Hutchison, Ph.D. 2016

Faculty Advisor: David Yoskowitz
Dissertation: Operationalizing Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Services for Enhanced Decision Making and Resilience


Evan Turner

Evan Turner, Ph.D. 2016

Faculty Advisors: Paul Montagna and Alexey Sadovski
Dissertation: Modeling Nutrient Dynamics in the Estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico


Brittany Blomberg

Brittany Blomberg, Ph.D. 2015

Faculty Advisors: Paul Montagna and Jennifer Pollack
Dissertation: Evaluating Success of Oyster Reef Restoration

Awards and Honors: 2016 Outstanding Doctoral Student


Maureen Trnka, Ph.D. 2015

Faculty Advisors: Paul Zimba and Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez
Dissertation: Associations between Chlorophyll and Wind Forcing in the Gulf of Mexico Derived from Satellite Observations

Anthony Reisinger

Anthony Reisinger, Ph.D. 2015

Faculty Advisor: James Gibeaut
Dissertation: Suspended Sediment Dynamics of Texas Estuaries


Eleonor Barraza

Eleonor Barraza, Ph.D. 2014

Faculty Advisor: James Gibeaut
Increasing Resilience of Urban Development on Texas Barrier Islands


Bhanu Paudel

Bhanu Paudel, Ph.D. 2014

Faculty Advisor: Paul Montagna
Dissertation: Interactions between Suspended Sediments, Nutrients, and Freshwater Inflow in Texas Estuaries


Harriet Nash

Harriet Nash, Ph.D. 2013

Faculty Advisor: Richard McLaughlin
Dissertation: Trinational Governance to Protect Ecological Connectivity: Support for Establishing an International Gulf of Mexico Marine Protected Area Network


Hongzhi Song

Hongzhi Song, Ph.D. 2013

Faculty Advisor: Alexey Sadovski
Dissertation: Geoid Determination in the Coastal Areas of the Gulf of Mexico



Natalya Warner, Ph.D. 2013

Faculty Advisor: Philippe Tissot
Dissertation: Estimated Increase in Inundation Probability with Confidence Intervals for the Gulf of Mexico


Gabby Ahmadia

Gabby Ahmadia, Ph.D. 2012

Faculty Advisor: Frank Pezold
Dissertation: Elucidating Factors Structuring Cryptobenthic Reef Fish Assemblages



John Wood, Ph.D. 2012

Faculty Advisor: James Gibeaut
Dissertation: Hyperspectral Analysis of Seagrass in Redfish Bay, Texas



Keith Johnson, Ph.D. 2012

Faculty Advisor: Delbert Smee
Dissertation: Eastern Oysters Offer No Pearl, But They Might Be in Peril: Understanding How Lethal and Non Lethal Predator Effects Influence Oyster Distribution and Reef Community



Morgan Kilgour, Ph.D. 2012

Faculty Advisors: Thomas Shirley and John W. Tunnell
Dissertation: Galatheoidea and Chirostyloidea of the Gulf of Mexico: Diversity, Reproductive Biology and Molecular Phylogeny



Kevin Nelson, Ph.D. 2012

Faculty Advisor: Paul Montagna
Dissertation: The Relative Roles of Salinity Stratification and Nutrient Loading in Seasonal Hypoxia in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas



Maggie Dalthorp, Ph.D. 2011

Faculty Advisor: Thomas Naehr
Dissertation: The Geology of Gulf of Mexico Hydrocarbon Seeps: Structural and Stratigraphic Relationships of Hydrocarbon Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and the Geological Factors Contributing to Sea Surface Oil Slick Formation


Bridgette Froeschke

Bridgette Froeschke, Ph.D. 2011

Faculty Advisor: Greg Stunz
Dissertation: Assessment of Past, Present, and Future Status of Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) in Texas Using a Time Series and Quantitative Modeling Approach


Sandra Arismendez

Sandra Arismendez, Ph.D. 2010

Faculty Advisors: Paul Montagna and John W. Tunnell
Dissertation: Land-Water Nutrient Coupling Processes in Central Texas Estuaries


John Froeschke

John Froeschke, Ph.D. 2010

Faculty Advisors: Greg Stunz and Mark Wildhaber
Defining Essential Fish Habitat: The Influence of Life History, Biotic, and Abiotic Factors


Peter Etnoyer

Peter Etnoyer, Ph.D. 2009

Faculty Advisor: Thomas Shirley
Dissertation: Distribution and Diversity of Octocorals in the Gulf of Mexico


Oscar Garcia-Pineda

Oscar Garcia-Pineda, Ph.D. 2009

Faculty Advisor: Ian MacDonald
Dissertation: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Oil Slicks in the Gulf of Mexico Based on Remote Sensing