Oceanography Seminar Series - Spring 2017

All Oceanography 681 Seminars are presented in room 112 O&M Building on the campus of Texas A&M University. The seminars begin every Monday at 4:00 PM. Below are the list of speakers and their research interests. Titles will be added as we receive them. The public is welcome to attend.

23 January 2017
Dr. Lisa Campbell, Professor, Departments of Oceanography & Biology, Texas A&M University
Dr. Campbell's research interests include phytoplankton ecology, phytoplankton community structure and diversity, harmful algal blooms and flow cytometry and in situ imaging. https://ocean.tamu.edu/people/faculty/campbelllisa.html
Title: Phytoplankton Interactions and Processes Revealed with Imaging-in-flow Cytometry


30 January 2017
Dr. Anthony Kirincich, Associate Scientist, Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Dr. Kirincich's research focuses on the physical mechanisms of exchange and stirring over the continental shelf, a critical aspect of our efforts to characterize the natural system present in the coastal ocean and evaluate the implications of changes in the system for stakeholders.  While the dynamics that control wind-driven transport dominate exchange over the shelf as a whole, they can serve as a barrier over the inner part of the shelf, where surface and bottom boundary layers overlap and interact.  In this unique environment, the scales of both vertical and horizontal stirring act to bound the across-shelf movement of particles.  His research methods involve the use of in situ and remotely sensed observational systems, along with the application of idealized models, to expand our theoretical understanding of turbulent coastal flows and the processes that govern exchange. http://www.whoi.edu/hpb/Site.do?id=6212
Faculty Host: Dr. Kristen Thyng
Title: The Importance of Lateral Variability on Exchange Across the Inner Shelf.


6 February 2017
Dr. Yige Zhang, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Dr. Zhang studies paleooceanography and paleoclimatology focusing on cenozoic climate change, greenhouse gases, earth system climate sensitivity and the tropical pacific ocean/atmosphere dynamics. His group reconstructs ocean temperature evolution to constrain regional climate, global climate and the earth system climate sensitivity. He evaluates past atmospheric CO2 levels on various timescales using biomarkers and their stable isotopes. http://ocean.tamu.edu//people/faculty/zhangyige
Title:  What’s wrong with the geochemical method for ancient pCO2 reconstructions and how can we fix it?


13 February 2017
Dr. Brandy Toner, Associate Professor, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota
Dr. Toner studies iron biogeochemisty in the ocean, iron biogeochemistry in fractured rock and microbial mats, arsenic geochemistry in glacial aquifers, and mercury and sulfur biogeochemistry in peatlands. 
Faculty Host: Jessica Fitzsimmons
Chemical speciation of particulate carbon, sulfur, and iron in deep-sea hydrothermal plumes


20 February 2017
Dr. Brett Baker, Assistant Professor, College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Microorganisms are key mediators in nearly all of the planet’s elemental cycles. However, understanding of the ecological roles of many groups of microbes has been hampered by low-resolution analytical approaches to studying the staggering diversity present in nature. As a result the tree of life is full of branches, which remain undiscovered, and those, which have only been identified in single-gene sequencing surveys (Baker and Dick, 2013). This is a fundamental gap in understanding of biology. Filling in the genomic gaps in the tree of life will provide a rich context to understand the evolution of life on the planet and will provide a genetic understanding of how microbial communities drive biogeochemical cycles... http://sites.utexas.edu/baker-lab/research-overview/
Faculty Host: Dr. Jason Sylvan
Metagenomic Explorations to New Branches on the Tree of Life, or How to Win Art Competitions With Your Scientific Data


27 February 2017
Ms. Anne Tamalavage, Graduate Student, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Ms. Tamalavage is currently immersed in the use of geochemical proxies in paleoclimatic reconstructions. Her work is focused in a coastal sinkhole in the northern Bahamas. She is  currently working on extracting particular biomarkers and measuring carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes for paleo-vegetative and hydrologic reconstruction of the region. 
Title: Evidence for late Holocene groundwater and landscape changes from a coastal sinkhole in the Northern Bahamas

Ms. Wei-Ching Hsu, Graduate Student, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Quantifying the Impact of Sea Surface Temperature Biases on Simulated Tropical Cyclones

 6 March 2017
Dr. Amanda Achberger, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Dr. Achberger's graduate work focused on examining the microbial ecology of Antarctic subglacial environments as part of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling project. Using targeted gene and metagenomic sequencing we were able to assess the structure, diversity, and metabolic potential of microbial assemblages inhabiting Subglacial Lake Whillans and the subglacial ocean basin into which it discharges. Her postdoctoral research involves examining the role that microorganisms play in oil degradation and marine oil snow formation in the Gulf of Mexico
Faculty Host: Jason Sylvan
Structure and functional potential of microbial communities in Subglacial Lake Whillans and at the Ross Ice Shelf grounding zone, Antarctica


20 March 2017
Dr. Tom Parkerton, Environmental Science Advisor, ExxonMobil Biomedical Science, Inc.
Faculty Host: Dr. Gerardo Gold Bouchot
Predicting aquatic toxicity of hydrocarbons, crude oil and petroleum substances


27 March 2017
Dr. Darren Henrichs, Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Dr. Henrich's research interests include dinoflagellate ecology, population genetics, phylogenetics, individual-based modeling, plant/phytoplankton taxonomy and bioinformatics. http://ocean.tamu.edu//people/researchpersonnel/henrichsdarren
Gene expression in a red tide: What in the bloom is going on?


3 April 2017
Dr. Subrahmanyam Bulusu, Professor, School of Earth, Ocean and the Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina
Dr. Bulusu's research is in Remote Sensing, Satellite Oceanography, Physical Oceanography and Air-Sea Interaction. His research has focused on the use of Satellite Remote Sensing for studying ocean circulation utilizing both active microwave sensors (altimeters, scatterometers, imagers) and passive optical sensors (ocean color and sea-surface-temperature), as well as in the combination of passive/active (radiometer/radar) instruments. http://www.seoe.sc.edu/subrahmanyam-bulusu
Faculty Host: Dr. Benjamin Giese
Title: Decadal Changes in Salinity in the Oceanic Subtropical Gyres


10 April 2017
Ms. Andrea Kealoha, Graduate Student, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Ms. Kealoha's interests include ocean acidification of coral reef ecosystems, climate change impacts on indigenous cultures and the ocean carbon cycle. http://ocean.tamu.edu//people/students/kealohaandrea
Chemical Anomalies in the Flower Garden Banks following the Mass Die-off of Invertebrates

Ms. Claire McKinley
Graduate Student, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Ms. McKinley's research employs radiogenic isotopes, and trace element geochemistry preserved in marine sediments to investigate Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. She is especially interested in evaluating recorders (fossil fish teeth, Fe-Mn Oxide coatings) of seawater isotopic ratios and reconstructing patterns of ocean circulation and deepwater formation. http://ocean.tamu.edu//people/students/mckinleyclaire
Reconstructing the Paleogene Mode of Ocean Circulation in the Pacific through Neodymium Isotopic Composition of Fossil Fish Debris and Oxide Coating


17 April 2017
Dr. Dreux Chappell, Assistant Professor, Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University
Dr. Chappell is a marine biogeochemist/microbial ecologist that studies the interplay between phytoplankton physiology and ocean chemistry. Her research encompasses trace metal biogeochemistry, phytoplankton cultivation and physiology, and molecular marine microbiology. She uses a suite of molecular biological tools and analysis of trace metal and macronutrient concentrations in seawater to link biological activity and chemical distributions in controlled laboratory settings and in the field...https://www.odu.edu/directory/people/p/pdchappe
Faculty Host: Dr. Jessica Fitzsimmons
Ask the diatoms, using molecular methods to identify diatoms and determine their iron status

24 April 2017

Dr. Jeffrey P. Morin, Senior Scientist, RPS Groups
Dr. Morin is currently working with RPS Groups Ocean Sciences Division as a Senior Scientist.  The organization has offices in Houston, Providence, Charleston and Seattle, as well as an Asia-Pacific group in Queensland Australia. Until relatively recently RPS was primarily a European entity, but has expanded to include a growing North American presence. Their division is engaged in many levels of data collection and consulting including sensor installation and maintenance, large scale data harvesting and coastal and deep ocean modeling, and environmental data base development.  The link to their website is below:
Title: Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Eddies and Topographic Rossby Waves.  Potential Association and Operational Impacts

1 May 2017
Ms. Prajvala Kurtakoti, Graduate Student, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Ms. Kurtakoti is pursuing her PhD in Physical Oceanography at Texas A&M University under the supervision of Dr. Achim Stoessel studying deep open-ocean convection in high-latitude Southern Ocean in Coupled Earth System Models (CESM). Open-Ocean Polynyas (OOPs) in the Southern Ocean are large ice-free areas within the winter ice pack that are associated with deep convection and thus potentially contribute to the formation of deep water masses. While simulations with coarse-resolution versions of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) show no sign of OOP formation, OOPs emerge in simulations with eddy-resolving versions of CESM. I am currently analyzing the processes responsible for the preconditioning and formation of Maud Rise OOPs in regard to why these forms only in high-resolution CESM simulations. http://ocean.tamu.edu//people/students/kurtakotiprajvala
Title: Preconditioning and Formation Mechanisms of Open-Ocean Polynyas in a High-Resolution Earth System Model

Mr. Chuan-Yuan Hsu, Graduate Student, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Using a new method to identify near-inertial waves in idealized hurricane case studies