January 29

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) recently funded Dr. Mohamed Ahmed to study the parched landscape of one of the most arid regions in the world in search for water resources. Using geophysical technology the team will map a new fresh groundwater source for an Egyptian Bedouin community. The story is featured here:



December 18 Congratulations to our own Ryan Turner, graduate research assistant (faculty advisor: Dr. Mohamed Ahmed), on his recognition as an outstanding Fall 2020 graduate!!!

Outstanding Graduate Ryan Turner Follows His Passion for Coastal Bend Geology, Geophysics


September 29

Dr. Dorina Murgulet and Dr. Hussain Abdulla were funded by the National Science Foundation to study the impact of flooding on groundwater quality following natural desisters such as Hurricane Hanna.

May 2020 PhD candidate, Larissa Dias
Larissa has been awarded a 1-year GRF in Ocean Acidification from Texas Sea Grant. As part of this fellowship, Larissa will be continuing her studies on the influence river alkalinity inputs have on estuarine alkalinity over time. She will also focus on the biogeochemistry of Mission Aransas Estuary as related to alkalinity consumption. She plans to develop a model of alkalinity consumption for Texas estuaries to help guide stakeholders towards better resource management practices. Congratulations Larissa! We are proud of you!
January 12-16 PhD Candidate, Quinn Mc

Colly, attends the American Meterological Society (AMS) Conference in Boston, with the help of CMSS travel funds. Quinn is shown below with his poster covering his research into water price modeling. 



December 16 PhD Candidate,  Melissa McCutcheon, reflects on her internship with Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Acidification program. Read more about her experience at the  Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) .

December 9-13 CMSS faculty and students (graduate and undergraduate) present their research at the American Geophysical Union Conference (AGU) in San Francisco, CA. 

From left to right: Kevin Nelson, Dr. Hussain Abdulla, Dr. Richard Coffin, Dr. Dorina Murgulet,  Lindsey Hayden, Ryan Turner, Will Wolfe, Sagar Shrestha, Bimal Gyawali, Audrey Douglas, and undergraduate research assistants: Megan Greige (McNair scholar, Center for Water Supply Studies), Loren Walker (McNair scholar, Center for Water Supply Studies), and Alicia Fraire.
M.S. student, Ryan Turner, presents his research at the Earth Interior poster session, along side advisor Dr. Mohamed Ahmed.
PhD Candidate, Bimal Gyawali, presents his poster: "Quantifying the Change in Groundwater Storage in the Coastal Region of Texas".
PhD Student, Lindsey Hayden presents her poster at the Atmospheric Sciences session titled, "Variations in the Drop Size Distribution of Isolated Warm Rain Events Using GPM DPR Measurments".
PhD Candidate, Audrey Douglas, presents her research into dissolved organic matter at the Biogeosciences poster session.
Thomas Levigne (PhD Student) presents his research into electrified cloud activity at the Atmospheric Science poster session.
PhD Candidate, Nana Liu, presents her research: "Relative Importance of Thermodynamic Variables to the Worldwide Variability of Thunderstoms" at the Atmospheric Science session.
PhD Candidate, Sagar Shrestha, presents his work on Photo-Transformation of Dissolved Organic Nitrogen at the Biogeosciences poster session.
Sajjad Abdullajintakam (PhD candidate) presents his research into Carbon-Sulfur Geochemistry of Hydrocarbon Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico at the Ocean Sciences poster session.
PhD student Isabel Garcia, alongside advisor Dr. Michael Starek, presents her research titled: "Mobile and Airborne Lidar Scanning to Assess the Impacts of Hurricane Harvey to the Beach and Foredunes on North Padre Island, Texas, USA".
MS Student, Mariana Carolina Nieva Tamasiunas, presents her research titled: "Intraseasonal Variability of the Indonesian Throughflow" at the Atmospheric Science poster session.
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Loren Walker, presents her research into temporal changes in radiogenic signatures of groundwater at the Hydrology poster session.

September 1 The CMSS program's  Carbon Cycle Lab , led by Dr. Xinping Hu,  begins work on an ocean acidification study in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, funded by a grant from NOAA. 

August 19   Dr. Dorina Murgulet  assumes duty as the new CMSS Program Coordinator.

August 16  CMSS program welcomes new MS students -(from left) Jessica Myers and William Wolfe and new PhD students - Anthony Cox, Nigel Lascelles, and Yixi Qiu.

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August 10   Dr. Abishek Adhikari  (Ph.D., faculty advisor  Dr. Chuntao Liu), Dr. Zachary Olsen (Ph.D., faculty advisor  Dr. Greg Stunz) and Dr. Hongming Yao (Ph.D., faculty advisor  Dr. Xinping Hu) 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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July 1   CMSS Ph.D. student Melissa McCutcheon starts a six-month-long internship with the   Ocean Conservancy 's   Ocean Acidification Program  in Washington DC (see   Campus News ). This internship is funded by an NSF funding provided to Melissa's advisor - Dr. Xinping Hu.


June 25  Two CMSS Ph.D. students receive grants from Texas Sea Grant Grant-in-Aid Program, along with  five other TAMUCC graduate students. The awardees and their proposed projects are listed below:

Terry Palmer  - Quantifying the biomagnification of contaminants in epibenthic marine fauna

Hao Yu  - Contribution of sediment methane to the atmosphere from Subtropical Lagoons of Corpus Christi, Texas

May 10  Dr. Chuyen Nguyen (Ph.D., faculty advisor  Dr. Michael Starek) graduates from the CMSS program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Congratulations for the achievements and good luck with your future endeavors!


February 23-March 2  CMSS faculty and students attend the ASLO 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


January 23-25   CMSS PhD Student Quinn McColly and his advisor Dr. David Yoskowitz attend the   2019 Water for Texas Conference  in Austin hosted by the Texas Water Development board. They meet with municipal managers, academics, and policymakers to discuss challenges and opportunities in Texas that surround freshwater availability.


January 14  CMSS program welcomes two new Ph.D. students - Ms. Isabel Garcia (faculty advisor Dr. Michael Starek) and Mr. Anthony Lima (faculty advisors Drs. Richard McLaughlin and David Yoskowitz). 

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December 14 Dr. Melissa Rohal (Ph.D., faculty advisor  Dr. Paul Montagna) graduates from the CMSS program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Congratulations for the achievements and good luck with your future endeavors!


December 9-14 PhD students Abishek Adhikari, Nana Liu, Lindsey Hayden, Thomas Lavigne, and MS student Mariana NievaTamasiunas attend the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in Washington DC.

Images of Students
Members of Dr. Chuntao Liu's lab
Mariana's Poster on the Indonesian Seas
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November 5   CMSS PhD student Quinn McColly travels to Australia to study how their water markets function and are structured. In the picture Quinn is working with a representative from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to learn how their environmental water delivery decision matrix is built. He will be there for three weeks.


September 14   Sajjad Abdullajintakam, PhD candidate, finishes the Summer School (Sept 3 -14) at Marum - University of Bremen, on the topic " Sub­sea­Floor Fluid Trans­port and Gas Hy­drate Dy­nam­ics ", organized by the   European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD) US Science Support Program (USSP)  provided Sajjad travel fund. This was an excellent program aiming at training the early career scientist towards gas hydrate related research in the future, especially with a focus to International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) workflows. The trainees also went on a training cruise to explore pockmarks field at Eckernförde Bay, as a seafloor expression of groundwater discharge, on board the   R/V  Alkor. (Sajjad is at the front row, the third one from the right).


September Award Roundup

September 6  Audrey Douglas, PhD candidate, receives the 2018   Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES)  Foundation Earth Science Scholarship.

September 5  Terry Palmer, PhD student, receives travel award to attend the   South Central SAS ® Users Group Educational Forum  to be held on November 2-7 in Austin, TX.

Audrey Douglas



September 1   The National Science Foundation awards a grant to CMSS faculty Dr. Lin Zhang on a study entitled " Collaborative research: Using individual amino acids N isotopes in sinking particles and surficial sediments to reconstruct euphotic zone N sources and trophic structure". This is a joint project with Dr. Mark Altabet at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Zhang is the lead PI on this project with a total budget of $539,773.

Lin Zhang

August 30  Lilly Walker, PhD student, wins the Shimano and the Coastal Conservation Association Scholarship. This scholarship provides $2500 per semester for Lily to conduct research.


August 23  CMSS program welcomes two new M.S. students - Ms. Larissa Freguete (faculty advisor Dr. Toshi Shinoda) and Mr. Ryan Turner (faculty advisor Dr. Richard Coffin). 

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August 22   Kevin Nelson (PhD student, faculty advisor Dr. Feiqin Xie), along with the other 17 distinguished individuals chosen to work with leading NASA scientists during the summer 2018, concludes the internship entitled “ Advanced Computing in Earth Science: Development of an Extreme Precipitation Monitoring   System at NASA”   at the the Golddard Space Flight Center in   Greenbelt, Maryland. ( University News )


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) 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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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.


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 acquire 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 15  Terry Palmer, PhD student, receives an NSF travel grant to attend the   Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference  held in Davos, Switzerland.


June 10   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  PhD student Audrey Douglas receives a $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). 

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May 12   Dr. Hongjie Wang (Ph.D., faculty advisor  Dr. Xinping Hu), Ms. Michelle Culver (M.S., faculty advisor  Dr. James Gibeaut), and Ms. Jamie Smith (M.S., faculty advisor  Dr. Paul Montagna) 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  MS students Katherine Martin and Michelle Culver win 1 st  and 2 nd  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. 


February 9  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 a new PhD student - Terry Palmer. Terry will be working with Dr. Jennifer Pollack for his graduate research.



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  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) 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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December 11  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.

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

November 3  MS student 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.


September 11   Hongjie Wang, PhD candidate, publishes a paper " Decadal fCO 2 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  PhD student Elizabeth Del Rosario 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.

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August 8   CMSS alumina Dr. Brittany Blomberg (former faculty advisors  Dr. Paul Montagna  and  Dr. Jennifer Pollack) is named a    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 CO 2 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.