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Antonietta S. Quigg

Professor
Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies
Department of Marine Biology

"There is no impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible."

-Unknown

Get To Know Antonietta S. Quigg

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

I was the child that always asked "why!" At university, I knew I wanted to do marine biology, but no such course or track was available. Classes in biology, biochemistry and chemistry were my favorites. After graduating, I began working in a laboratory that conducted research on phytoplankton, microscopic photosynthetic organisms that fueled the planet with oxygen billions of years ago and are at the base of all food webs. I enjoy examining how they respond to environmental stressor's, including eutrophication, oil spills, nanomaterials, but also how climatological factors such as droughts, floods and storms alter their activity. I have the privilege to work with amazing students, postdoc's and staff in my laboratory and those of my colleagues. They inspire me each and every day. :) I am also able to travel the world and work and learn from talented and gracious people. Today I am the scientist that asks why!

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching remains both one of my greatest challenges and one of the most rewarding aspects of my position. I endeavor to inspire students with my enthusiasm for the subject matter, foster critical-thinking and decision-making abilities with examples and innovative testing approaches as well as encourage students to become active and competent learners outside the classroom. At a campus dedicated to marine studies, undergraduates arrive eager to learn about marine mammals and fisheries science, but rarely consider the role of phytoplankton and marine plants (seaweeds, seagrasses, marshes) as the base of food webs. Teaching Marine Botany, a core course taken predominately by juniors and seniors, is my chance to bring them towards the “light”. By blending traditional and contemporary topics (e.g. eutrophication, climate change, invasive species) I provide students with tangible examples from their daily lives. This is often when the light bulbs are triggered, and I will pause lecturing to talk/debate/stimulate students along a line that has clearly caught at least some of their attention. Part of my philosophy is to also lead by example: hard work, dedication and persistence in performing of research and presentations, participation and publication, as key for success in science. The other part is participation: my students and I have a strong bond forged from many days at sea (>100), as well as time in the field and laboratory. One of the advantages to being on a small campus is that teaching-related activities are indeed not limited to the classroom, but occurs in the hallways, offices and open spaces around campus.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

Albert Einstein said "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called "research" and Thomas Edison said "There are no rules here. We are trying to accomplish something". I hope students studying and working with me will gain confidence to ask questions (big, small, odd, bright, dumb), patience and persistence to experience the joys and challenges of being a scientist, and join me in my quest to be a life long learner. In my lab, research is not done in isolation. We are like a family unit - we work together, we celebrate each others successes, but we also standby and support each other through difficult situations.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

Family, friends, food and travel :)

Expertise
Phytoplankton ecophysiology, physiological adaptation, photosynthesis, biological oceanography, biochemistry and biophysics, molecular biology, plant physiology, evolution (look around the website for more specific information).
Education
Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Monash University, Australia, 2000
B.S.
Biochemistry, Honors, La Trobe University, Australia, 1990
B.S.
Biochemistry and Chemistry, La Trobe University, Australia, 1989
Publications

Williams, A. K. and Quigg, A. 2018 Spatiotemporal variability in autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial plankton abundance in a subtropical estuary, Galveston Bay, Texas, USA. Journal of Coastal Research. Accepted.

Gutierrez, T., Teske, A., Ziervogel, K., Passow, U. and Quigg, A. 2018 Microbial exopolymers: sources, chemico-physiological properties, and ecosystem effects in the marine environment. Frontiers Research Topic: Microbial exopolymers: sources, chemico-physiological properties, and ecosystem effects in the marine environment. 9, 1822. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01822.

Sun, L., Chiu, M.H., Xu, C., Lin, P., Schwehr, K.A., Bacosa H., Kamalanathan, M., Quigg, A., Chin, W.-C., and Santschi, P.H. 2018 The effects of sunlight on the composition of exopolymeric substances and subsequent aggregate formation during oil spills. Marine Chemistry, In press, Online 04/29/18.  doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2018.04.006

Rooker, J. R., Dance, M. A., Wells, R. J. D., Quigg, A., Hill, R. L., Appeldoorn, R. S., Padovani Ferreira, B., Boswell, K. M., Sanchez, P. J., Moulton, D. L., Kitchens, L. L., Rooker, G., and Aschenbrenner, A. 2018 Seascape connectivity and the influence of predation risk on the movement of fishes inhabiting a back-reef ecosystem. Ecosphere. (4):e02200. doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2200.

Kamalanathan, M., Xu, C., Schwehr, K. A., Bretherton, L., Beaver, M., Doyle, S. M., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Sylvan, J. B., Santschi, P.H., and Quigg, A. 2018 Extracellular enzyme activity profile in a chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction of surrogate oil: towards understanding microbial activities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Frontiers in Microbiology. Aquatic Microbiology. 9: 798. (13 pages). doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00798.

Bretherton, L., Williams, A. K., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Kamalanathan, M., Finkel, Z. V., and Quigg, A. 2018 Physiological response of 10 phytoplankton species exposed to Macondo oil and the dispersant, Corexit. J. Phycol. 54: 317-328. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12625.

Doyle, S. M., Whitaker, E. A., De Pascuale, V., Wade, T. L., Knap, A. H., Santschi, P.H. Quigg, A. and Sylvan, J. B. 2018 Rapid formation of microbe-oil aggregates and changes in community composition in coastal surface water following exposure to oil and the dispersant Corexit. Frontiers in Microbiology. Aquatic Microbiology. 9: 689. (16 pages). doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.00689.

Steichen, J. L. and Quigg, A. 2018 Fish species as indicators of freshwater inflow within a subtropical estuary in the Gulf of Mexico. Ecological Indicators. 85: 180-189. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.10.018.

Hatcher, P. G., Obeid, W., Wozniak, A. S., Xu, C., Zhang, S., Santschi, P.H. and Quigg, A. 2018 Identifying oil/marine snow associations in mesocosm simulations of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill event using solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 126: 159-165. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.004. 

Kamalanathan, M., Schwehr, K. A., Bretherton, L., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Xu, C., Williams, A. K., Santschi, P.H. and Quigg, A. 2018 Diagnostic tool to ascertain marine phytoplankton exposure to chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction of oil using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 130: 170-178. doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.03.027.

Undergraduate Student
Graduate Student (Quigg)
Graduate Student (Others)
Postdoctoral Fellow

Presentations

2017: Plenary speaker: Connecting physiology and fluorescence: challenges, pitfalls and progress. AQUAFLUO II, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

2017: The effect of removing carbon limitation on diatom aggregation and physiological responses when exposed to oilInternational Physiological Congress, Poland.

2017: Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers. International oil spill conference, Long Island, California.

2017: Galveston Bay: changing land use patterns and nutrient loading. Causal or casual relationship with Water Quality, Quantity, and patterns? Galveston Bay Council meeting, Webster, Texas.

Grants and Fellowships

January 2018 - December 2019: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. ADDOMEx 2: Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers. $2,540,646

September 17 - May 2019: Texas Commission for Environmental Quality. Freshwater inflows in Galveston Bay: relationship to (harmful) algal blooms (HABs). $80,000

September 16 - August 18: Texas Water Development Board. Defining Bioindicators for Freshwater Inflow Needs Studies (BioFINS): Phase 2 The health of the bay. $90,000

January 2015 - December 18: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. ADDOMEx: Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers. $7,245,432

Professional Appointments

2017 - Present: Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative, GOMURC Principal Members Board representing Texas Research Consortium and Texas interests.

2008 - 2013, 2014 - Present: Expert Science Team, Trinity and San Jacinto River Basins and Galveston Bay. Appointed by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Section 11.02362(j) of Senate Bill 3.

Current Graduate Students

Jennifer Genzer, Masters, Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program, TAMUG

Brittany Light, Ph.D., Oceanography - TAMU

Louis Brown, Ph.D., Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program, TAMUG

Sarah Tominack, Ph.D., Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program, TAMU-CC

Jillian Gilmartin, Ph.D., Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program, TAMUG

Lisa Gonzalez, Ph.D., Wildlife and Fisheries Science, TAMU

Jamie Steichen, Post-Doc

Manoj Kamalanathan, Post-Doc

Laura Bretherton, Post-Doc

Rachel Windham, Lab Manager, Research Associate

Jessica Hillhouse, Research Assistant

Amelia McAmis, Research Assistant

Noah Claflin, Program Aide, Part-Time

Contact Info

Antonietta S. Quigg
Professor
Department of Marine Biology


quigga@tamug.edu
Phone: +1 (409) 740.4990
Fax: +1 (409) 740.5001

Ocean & Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 261


Website
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