Graduate Students

 LOU BROWN
Lou Ph.D. Student

Galveston Campus
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Email
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.
 ALLYSON LUCCHESE
Allyson Ph.D. Student

Galveston Campus
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Email
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.
MARCELLA NUNEZ
Marty Ph.D. Student 

Galveston Campus
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Email
Project: I recently graduated with my bachelor's from Texas A&M University in Marine Sciences with a Chemistry minor. As a new PhD student pursuing a degree in the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M, I plan to research biochemical oceanography with a focus on the inorganic or organic chemistry of seawater and its relationship to phytoplankton. This can include research on ocean bio-geochemical cycling, marine environmental chemistry, toxicology and nutrient dynamics. I hope to develop a project based on these interests and address the important role of chemistry and its interaction with the ocean.
 HANNAH PREISCHEL
Hannah Ph.D. Student

Galveston Campus
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Email
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.
 ALICIA SHEPARD
Alicia Ph.D. Student

Galveston Campus
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Email
Project: I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Roger Williams University and have participated in multiple research projects. These include work on cyanobacterial/cyanophage dynamics, anthropogenic impacts on coral-associated microbial populations and molecular analyses of subseafloor microbial populations.  I plan to complete my PhD project on the potential impacts of mesoscale cyclonic circulation on nitrogen use by heterotrophic bacteria and autotrophic phytoplankton populations in the Gulf of Mexico.
 YAN ZHAO
Yan Ph.D. Candidate 

Galveston Campus
Bldg# 3029, 2nd floor cubicles
Email
Project: My research focuses on phytoplankton productivity in the areas experiencing frequent and severe hypoxia in Northern Gulf of Mexico (Texas-Louisiana Shelf). Both field measurements and laboratory experiments will be used to preliminarily clarify the mechanisms controlling phytoplankton productivity. The relativity between phytoplankton productivity and environmental factors, including both physical and chemical factors, will be investigated in field research. In laboratory experiments, the typical environmental factors of eco-system in the hypoxic region will be imitated, and the dominate microalgal species in this area will be chosen to research. I will try to determine the main factors affecting the phytoplankton productivity in the hypoxic region under controlled conditions in laboratory.