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Montagna Named Regents Professor

November 25, 2015

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Dr. Paul Montagna has been named a Regents Professor by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

Montagna is the Endowed Chair for Ecosystem Studies and Modeling at the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

He has broad expertise in marine ecosystems, having worked on all trophic levels, all aquatic systems, and in six of the world’s seven seas. He was appointed chair at HRI in 2006.

“The Harte Research Institute is very proud of Paul. He is one of those rare scientists whose unquestioned scientific credentials allow him to reach out beyond academia and turn his research to solving problems and making the world a better place,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, HRI Executive Director. “Researchers today are typically highly specialized, but Paul is equally comfortable investigating the value of freshwater inflows to estuaries as he is in discerning the complex biodiversity of the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That range of expertise has well served HRI, A&M-Corpus Christi and the Texas A&M University System.”

Montagna has had an accomplished research and education career, receiving more than 150 research awards totaling nearly $20 million since becoming an Assistant Professor in 1986. He has 222 publications; which include one book and 121 peer-reviewed articles. He also has directly supervised 41 graduate students and 21 post-doctoral scientists during his 29-year career.

“I am very honored to be recognized by the Regents,” Montagna said. “HRI is a great place to work, and together we have accomplished much. This award is really recognition of the greater community here at TAMU-CC.”

The Regents Professor Award of the Texas A&M University System honors professors whose performance as faculty members has provided exemplary service not only to their institution, but also to the community, the State of Texas and at the international level.

Regents Professors maintain their title for the duration of their service within the A&M System, and are presented with a stipend and certificate.

See the full list of A&M-Corpus Christi’s Regents Professors here.

Eleven others were designated Regents Professors or Regents Fellows by the system board for the 2014-2015 year. See the list here.

Montagna’s research is focused on two main topics: environmental flows, and the fate and effects of offshore oil and gas development.  He has performed freshwater inflow studies in all Texas estuaries; acted as a consultant to set environmental flow standards in California, Florida and Texas; worked with the U.S. State Department, Agency for International Development to develop inflow guidelines to protect the coastal zone of developing countries; and has been a member of the Texas Science Advisory Committee for the Texas Environmental Flows Advisory Group since 2004.  He has broad experience assessing ecological effects of offshore oil and gas exploration and production on continental shelves and the deep sea, having worked in Alaska, California, and the Gulf of Mexico. Most recently, he led the technical assessment of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon blowout on deep-sea bottom communities as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.

Previously, Montagna spent 20 years at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, located in Port Aransas, where he led the effort to establish the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve.