Discover Your Island

15 Island University Students Receive Texas Sea Grant Funds

August 03, 2017


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, located on its own island and surrounded by unique ecosystems, often attracts students interested in biology, chemistry or marine biology. Often, many students who pursue these degrees choose to strive for a Ph.D. and must learn how to obtain research grants. To assist these students, the Texas Sea Grant College Program’s Grants-in-Aid of Graduate Research Program recently awarded more than $28,000 to 15 Island University students in support of their coastal or marine-related research.

Students enrolled in graduate programs at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Galveston and Texas A&M University were eligible for the research funds. In addition to the monetary boost, students who were awarded a grant received assistance in writing grant proposals, submitting the proposal and learning how to manage the grant funds.

“Grant opportunities for our graduate students such as these from Texas Sea Grant are doubly rewarding – the students not only receive support critical to their research endeavors but also training in the grant-writing process essential to successful scientific careers,” said Dr. Frank Pezold, Dean for the College of Science and Engineering at A&M-Corpus Christi. “The outstanding success rate observed here demonstrates the caliber of our students and the training provided by their faculty advisors.”

Students who received grants include:

  • Hailey Boeck, master’s student in marine biology master’s student, for “Bonamia: Does it Mess with Texas? Survey for the oyster parasite Bonamia sp. in Texas bay systems.”
  • Kalman Bugica, doctoral student in life sciences, for “Controls upon winter-spring phytoplankton growth and planktonic food web structure in a subtropical estuary.”
  • Adam Bynum, master’s student in marine biology, for “Modeling genetic diversity in non-equilibrium”
  • Adam Chorazyczewski, master’s student in fisheries and mariculture, for “Bacterial-algal interactions: Is there an effect on growth and lipid production?”
  • Meredith Diskin, doctoral student in coastal and marine system sciences, for “Differences in habitat structure complexity impact predator-prey interactions.”
  • Audrey Douglas, doctoral candidate in coastal and marine system sciences, for “Submarine groundwater discharge derived dissolved organic nitrogen: The overlooked component in coastal systems and nutrient budgets.”
  • Nicole Elledge, doctoral student in marine biology, for “Quantifying the effect of stormwater runoff on Enterococcus faecalis
  • Kesley Gibson, doctoral candidate in marine biology, for “Mapping fish habitat: Where do they go?”
  • Bimal Gyawali, doctoral student in coastal and marine system sciences, for “Evaluation of coastal groundwater storage variability: Implications on the effects of climate anomalies on submarine groundwater discharge.”
  • Melissa McCutcheon, doctoral candidate in coastal and marine system sciences, for “Investigating the relationship between oyster reef substrate, sediment geochemistry, and oyster shell preservation in the Mission-Aransas Estuary.”
  • Mark McKay, doctoral candidate in coastal and marine system sciences, for “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.”
  • Megan Mullis, doctoral student in marine biology, for “Antimicrobial production and resistance gene expression in Mission-Aransas National Estuary Research Reserve, Texas.”
  • Hongjie Wang, doctoral candidate in coastal and marine system sciences, for “Photochemical degradation of dissolved organic carbon in Baffin Bay, Texas.”
  • Rachel Weisend, doctoral student in marine biology, for “Evaluating methane production from Texas coastal mangroves.”
  • Rachel Woodworth, master’s student in environmental science, for “Developing educational modules to reflect the teaching of mangroves and biogeochemical process of the carbon cycle.”

Since 2013, the Texas Sea Grant Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program has awarded more than $79,358 in research funds to students at the Island University. For more information on the Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program, click here.