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Orissa M. Moulton

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Marine Biology

Phone: +1 (409) 740.4413
Fax: +1 (409) 740.5001

Ocean & Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 329


Get To Know Orissa M. Moulton

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

I was lucky enough to grow up on the coast of Maine, and exploration of tide pools was a family tradition. I now feel incredibly fortunate that I've made a scientific career of exploring diverse American coastal ecosystems, and that I get to share my passion with undergraduates at TAMUG.

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

As the instructor of the Introductory Biology sequence at TAMUG, I am our students' welcome to the field of Marine Biology. It's my job to build foundations of strong study skills while fostering curiosity about the exciting field of biological science in the context of our unique coastal location. I view my courses as a gateway to the discipline and hope that my students feel challenged, supported, and encouraged to embark towards their chosen majors with a strong understanding of how biological life works.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

I enjoy seeking outdoor adventures with my family, and especially enjoy exploration of local, state, and national parks.


Ph.D. Ecology & Evolution, The University of Chicago, 2016
M.S. Zoology, Oregon State University, 2010
B.S. Biology, Wheaton College (Massachusetts), 2007


University of Chicago Certificate in University Teaching (2016)
Courses Taught

Moulton, O.M., M. Altabet, J.M. Beman, L. Deegan, J. Lloret, M.K. Lyons, J.A. Nelson, and C.A. Pfister. 2016, Macrobiotic-microbial associations drive ecosystem-scale nitrogen cycling. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14(4): 200-208.

Moulton, O.M. and S.D. Hacker. 2011. Congeneric variation in surfgrasses and ocean conditions influence macroinvertebrate community structure. Marine Ecology Progress Series 433: 53-63.


2016: Drivers of variability among NE Pacific rocky intertidal microbial communities (Oral presentation, Co-authors: Cathy Pfister and Jack Gilbert). Ecological Society of America 101st Annual Meeting; Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

2011: Interactions between intertidal macroalgae and ammonium-oxidizing microbes in the presence of ammonium, a shared resource (Poster presentation, Co-author: Cathy Pfister). Ecological Society of America 97th Annual Meeting; Portland, OR.

2010: Foundation species surfgrass morphology and coastal gradients influence invertebrate communities on the Oregon coast (Oral presentation, Co-author: Sally Hacker). Western Society of Naturalists 91st Annual Meeting; San Diego, CA.

2009: Does ocean upwelling drive asymmetry in a positive interaction? A test of the interaction between surfgrass and infaunal worms at a meta-ecosystem scale (Poster presentation). Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 20th Biennial Conference; Portland, OR.

Grants and Fellowships

2016: UChicagoGRAD Travel Award: $500

2012-2015: EPA STAR (Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results) Graduate Fellowship: $126,000

2011-2014: U. Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories Graduate Fellowships: $14,870

2010-2012: DOE GAANN (Dept. of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) Traineeship in Quantitative Ecology: $60,000

2011: U. Chicago Committee on Evolutionary Biology Hinds Fund Award: $2,200

2009-2010: Oregon State University Zoology Award for Graduate Research: $1,000

2005: Wheaton College Mars Faculty-Student Research Fellowship: $1,500

Professional Appointments
2016-2017, North Central College (Naperville, IL), Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology Department