Dr. Anna Armitage

Dr. Antonietta Quigg
Professor of Marine Biology at TAMUG
Professor of Oceanography at TAMU
Associate Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies

1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, Office 261
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: quigga@tamug.edu
Phone: (409) 740-4990
Fax: (409) 740-5002
Website: www.tamug.edu/phytoplankton/

Research Interests:

Phytoplankton ecophysiology, physiological adaptation, photosynthesis, biological oceanography, biochemistry and biophysics, molecular biology, plant physiology, evolution (look around the website for more specific information).

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. I have had >40 undergraduates work in the laboratory, 14 graduate students and 5 postdoctoral fellows. 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.
 

 

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Staff

Jennifer Genzer

Jennifer Genzer
Research Assistant
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: genzerj@tamug.edu

Project:

I recently graduated from Texas A&M University with my bachelor’s in Biology and an Oceanography minor. I focused my undergraduate research project on phytoplankton community structure along the Texas coast using an Imaging FlowCytobot in Dr. Lisa Campbell’s lab. I joined Dr. Quigg’s lab to work on the Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) project funded by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative where we will be analyzing the effects of oil on phytoplankton and their production of marine snow. I am also helping with the new Imaging FlowCytobot by collecting samples and identifying phytoplankton.

 

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Dr. Jamie Steichen

Dr. Jamie Steichen
Postdoctoral Fellow
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: steichej@tamug.edu
Phone: (409) 740-4990

CV

Project:

Within an estuarine system, a range of salinity waters is necessary to maintain the health of flora and fauna throughout their life cycles. The freshwater delivered to Galveston Bay flows to the system from the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers. During droughts, such as the one experienced in Texas during 2011, select freshwater dependent plants and animals within Galveston Bay were unable to recover from these long periods of exposure to higher salinity waters. The goal of my postdoctoral research is to determine if the freshwater bioindicators used prior to the drought (2011) are still present within the bay and if so, whether they are still applicable for this purpose. In addition, I will be looking at opportunistic species such as harmful algal bloom species, invasive and non-indigenous species, which may indicate periods of low freshwater inflow to Galveston Bay.

 

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Alicia Williams

Alicia Williams
Postdoctoral Fellow
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: sheparda@tamug.edu

Project:

My research interests are primarily focused on marine microbial ecology. Specifically, understanding microbial/environmental relationships by using combinations of statistical, molecular and bio-imaging technologies. My Ph.D. research examined community and physiological responses of autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial plankton to nutrients across different marine regimes. I will be using this knowledge base while transitioning to the Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) project funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. For this work I plan to develop flow cytometric assays that can capture individual and community variability that will facilitate a better understanding of interactions between microbes and oil/dispersants.

 

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Laura Bretherton
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Marine Biology
200 Seawolf Parkway
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: lmjbretherton@tamug.edu
Phone: (409) 741-7168

Project:

My research interests are centered around phytoplankton physiology and community ecology, and how they are altered by changing environmental factors. I completed my Ph.D. in Marine Biology at the University of Essex (UK), where I was part of the UK Ocean Acidification Research Program (UKOARP), a national consortium dedicated to bettering our understanding of ocean acidification and its effects on marine organisms and ecosystems. My work focused on how changes in light availability affect the ocean acidification response of coccolithophores, a globally distributed calcifying group of phytoplankton. My postdoctoral work at Galveston is part of the Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) project, where I will be culturing different species of phytoplankton with different concentrations of crude oil and chemical dispersant to understand how these compounds affect phytoplankton physiology, extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) production and aggregation.

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Manoj Kamalanathan

Manoj Kamalanathan
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Marine Biology
200 Seawolf Parkway
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: manojka@tamug.edu
Phone: (409) 741-7168

Project:

I am Manoj Kamalanathan, I’ve joined the TAMUG family as the new Post Doc in Dr. Quigg’s lab. I’ll be studying the effects of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on phytoplankton and the role of their exopolysaccharide production in determining the fate of the oil. I did my PhD from Monash University at Melbourne in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. John Beardall and co-supervision of Asso/Prof. Roslyn Gleadow. My PhD research topic focused on the optimization of microalgae for biofuel production. I did my masters and bachelors on microbiology in India.

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Jessica Hillhouse
Research Assistant
Department of Marine Biology
200 Seawolf Parkway
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: jessicahillhouse@tamug.edu

Project:

I graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2015 with my Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology. As a student, I volunteered in the Marine mammal lab and my undergraduate research project focused on studying the mating tactics of female Indo- Pacific bottlenose dolphins. I also volunteered in the seafood safety lab where I collected oysters from west Galveston Bay to enumerate harmful Vibrio bacteria. As a research assistant in Dr. Quigg’s lab, I will be working on the ADDOMEx project to interpret the effects oil spills have on phytoplankton.  

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Ms. Rachel Windham

Rachel Windham
Research Assistant,
Lab Manager and Masters Student

1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: windhamr@tamug.edu
Phone: (409) 741-7168

Project:

As a research assistant and lab manager for the Phytoplankton Dynamics Laboratory, I conduct field research for the Galveston Bay Project which observes bay-wide water quality and phytoplankton response to environmental flows from the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers. I also conduct laboratory research for this project by collecting phytoplankton identification data. As a part-time graduate student in the Marine Resources Management program, I am working to complete a master’s thesis examining the viability of using the brackish-water clam Rangia cuneata as a biological indicator of freshwater inflows.

 

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Graduate Students

Lou Brown

Lou Brown
Ph.D. Student
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: lrbrown@ag.tamu.edu

Project:

I am currently working as the Project Manager for the Texas AgriLife Algae Biofuel Pilot Plant located in Pecos, Texas. My responsibilities there include experimental design and implementation of algal culture optimization and species development, water chemistry analysis for all types of potential water sources that might be used for large scale algal cultivation and the implementation of potential large scale dewatering techniques and technologies. I plan to complete my Ph.D. project on the process of large scale algal cultivation for the potential uses of biofuels and bioenergy in regards to species selection and optimization as well as facility design and operation.

 

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Allyson Lucchese

Allyson Lucchese
Ph.D. Student
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: lucchesa@tamug.edu

Project:

I have my Bachelor's in Biology from Texas A&M, and am pursuing my Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography. I worked for two years in Dr. Lisa Campbell's Phytoplankton Ecology Lab in College Station, mainly focusing on toxin extractions from Karenia brevis before coming to the Quigg Phytoplankton Dynamics Lab. My project is examining phytoplankton community responses to nutrient and freshwater pulses in Galveston Bay along the riverine input gradients from the Trinity and the San Jacinto Rivers, both in the water column, and in the benthos. I am also investigating using models to predict changes in phytoplankton communities in Galveston Bay with projected changes in freshwater availability.

 

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Hannah Preischel

Hannah Preischel
Ph.D. Student
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: hpreischel@email.tamu.edu

Project:

I received my bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University and worked in the Phytoplankton Dynamics Lab for many years during my undergraduate career. My current research involves studying the growth patterns and causes of harmful algal blooms in Galveston Bay using a Flow Cytobot. It is my hope to determine what abiotic factors drive these blooms in order to create a safer harvesting environment in Galveston Bay.

 

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Undergraduate Students

Shiron Lawrence

Shiron Lawrence
Undergraduate Student
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

Project:

My interest in botany began when I worked on a project by identifying and taking inventory of all the vascular plants in Galveston Island State Park with Dr. Rosen at Lee Junior College. A course in Marine Botany followed by working in the Phytoplankton Dynamics Lab collecting daily samples, working on the Imaging FlowCytobot, and identifying and categorizing the microorganisms has refined this interest to microalgae. I plan on continuing my undergraduate research in phytoplankton and continuing with a Master’s degree.

 

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Michelle Nguyen
Undergraduate Student
Department of Marine Biology
200 Seawolf Parkway
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: michelle2014@tamu.edu

Project:

I am a sophomore pursuing an undergraduate degree in marine biology with an oceanography focus as well as a minor in Diving Technologies. My focus on oceanography led me to seek out a project dealing with either phytoplankton or studies about water composition. These interests led me to Dr.Quigg’s lab, where I have officially started tasks associated with the Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) project. As a volunteer I have had the chance to work with some of the samples as well as assisting with culture analysis and basic lab activities. By volunteering I hope to gain more lab experience and further explore my interests in research and phytoplankton.

 

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Amelia McAmis

Amelia McAmis
Undergraduate Student
Department of Marine Biology
200 Seawolf Parkway
Bldg# 3029, Room 210
Galveston, TX, 77554 USA

E-mail: amac3224@tamu.edu

Project:

I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology with the hopes of continuing with a Master’s degree. My interest in invertebrates began when I worked in my dad’s Veterinarian office where we used microscopic techniques to test for numerous parasites and other organisms. This interest was carried on through the Invertebrate Zoology course that I attended here at the University followed by working in the Phytoplankton Dynamics lab where I focus on identifying cells from images taken by the Imaging FlowCytobot and collecting Chlorophyll samples from the Galveston Bay.

 

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