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 Copyright Jay Rooker
 
Principal Investigator

Dr. Jay R. Rooker
rookerj@tamug.edu

 

Dr. Jay R. RookerPosition:
Regents Professor & McDaniel Chair of Marine Fisheries
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Department of Marine Biology (Galveston)
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (College Station)

Education:
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin (1997)
M.S. University of Puerto Rico (1991)
B. A. Gustavus Adolphus College (1985)

Research Interests:
My research centers on the community and population ecology of aquatic organisms, with a special emphasis on marine fishes. I am particularly interested in linkages between habitat selection, individual responses, and survival. My work is both laboratory and field-based, and I typically use both quantitative and experimental approaches to elucidate the importance of biotic and abiotic factors that influence growth, condition, and survival. In addition, we are currently using a variety of natural markers to solve ecological problems. Otolith chemistry is being used to retrospectively determine the environmental histories of marine fishes. The premise of otolith chemistry is that certain elements or isotopes are incorporated into otoliths in proportion to their concentrations in the environment, and thus we use these elemental fingerprints to distinguish individuals from different environments or regions. We also use dietary tracers (stable isotopes, fatty acids) to investigate marine food web structure since consumer tissues reflect the isotopic and fatty acid composition of prey in a predictable manor. These natural biomarkers provide time-integrated or long-term measures of diet, and both approaches afford information on source(s) of organic matter supporting local food webs as well as trophic relationships of associated consumers. Recent work also involves the use of sophisticated electronic tags to investigate movement and population connectivity of coastal and pelagic fishes.

 
Graduate Students and Research Associates
Phillip Sanchez
phillip.sanchez@tamu.edu

Position:

Ph.D. Student

Education:
B.S. University of Florida (2010)
M.S. University of Puerto Rico (2016)


Research Interests:
My research interests are on marine fish ecology, with an emphasis on benthic fish behavioral dynamics and population structure. My dissertation investigates the population dynamics in commercially important deep water Gulf of Mexico grouper species via physical and geochemical techniques and spatial analytical tools. With these methods, we can increase our understanding of the life history and habitat use of important fisheries species with a focus to enhance conservation and management policy.


Jason Mostowy
jmostowy@tamu.edu

Position:

M.S. Student

Education:
B.S. University of Miami (2015)


Research Interests:
For my project, I'll be using a towed camera system and acoustic surveys to study benthic habitats in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico, with a particular focus on the spatial ecology of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus). My past research has included the early life history of reef fishes and invasive lionfish feeding ecology.


Corinne Meinert
meinert.8@tamu.edu

Position:

M.S. Student

Education:
B.S. The Ohio State University (2014)

Research Interests:
My research aims to investigate biodiversity and community structure of larval fish assemblages in the NGoM. Its purpose is to evaluate the value of the NGoM as a nursery habitat by identifying the geographic position and temporal dynamics of biodiversity hotspots as well as the oceanographic conditions associated with these areas. The research will establish baseline data on the distribution and abundance of larval fish and can be used to indicate changes in population dynamics through evaluating assemblages, ultimately aiding in the management and conservation of pelagic species.


Jeffrey Pinsky
Jeffrey.F.Pinsky@usace.army.mil

Position:

M.S. Student

Education:
B.S. Texas A&M University (2005)

Research Interests:
I am interested in studying the life history and population dynamics of marine fishes. I have worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, Regulatory division as a Project manager since 2008.
 
Chris Steffen
chrissteffen599@tamu.edu

Position:

M.S. Student

Education:
B.S. Texas A&M University (2016)

Research Interests:
I am interested in the small and large scale connectivity of marine fishes, with an emphasis on how it relates to wildlife management. I am currently studying the ingress and egress patterns of southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) in Galveston Bay using acoustic telemetry. This will provide information about the timing of migration events, aiding in the identification of migration pathways and spawning time periods.
 
Dr. Michelle Sluis
sluism@tamug.edu

Position:
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Education:
Ph.D. Louisiana State University (2011)
B.S. Texas A&M University (2004)


Research Interests:
My research interests include ecology and population dynamics of marine fish, with an emphasis on conservation and management. The majority of my work is centered on using otolith chemistry to estimate population connectivity and stock structure of different ecologically and economically important marine fish. I currently manage the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS), assisting with several projects that rely on this instrument. The ICP-MS has been paired with a laser to ablate specific microscopic regions of the otolith, allowing us to focus on the core region to develop nursery signatures of Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares), or develop life history transects across the whole otolith to examine stock structure of Snowy Grouper (Hyporthodus niveatus).
 
Dr. Mike Dance
dancema@tamu.edu

Position:
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Education:
Ph.D. Texas A&M University (2015)
M.S. University of West Florida (2007)
B.S. Auburn University (2004)

Research Interests:
The primary purpose of my research is to address scientific gaps in our understanding of population dynamics of aquatic organisms. My approach integrates elements of spatial ecology, geochemistry, and ecosystem modeling to address ecological questions related to animal movement and population connectivity. Using several complementary techniques I am able to identify habitat and population linkages at different spatial scales to better understand how spatial relationships and movement patterns influence population connectivity of aquatic organisms.
 

 Former Former Lab Members

 
Jessica Lee (Research Associate 2012-2018)
leej@tamug.edu

Current Position:
Administrative Associate, Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston
 
Dr. Maelle Cornic (Ph.D. 2017)
maelle.cornic@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Current Position:
Post Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
 
Dr. Larissa Kitchens (Ph.D. 2017)
l.podsim@tamu.edu
 
David Moulton (M.S. 2015)
moultodl@neo.tamu.edu


Current Position:
Ph.D. Student, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
 
Lynne Wetmore (M.S. 2014)
lwetmore@mail.sdsu.edu


Current Position:
Ph.D. student, Joint Doctorate with San Diego State University and UC Davis 
 

Landes Randall (M.S. 2014)
randall22@neo.tamu.edu


Current Position:
Fisheries Technician, Colorado Parks and Wildlife


Dr. Nathan Furey (M.S. 2012)
Nathan.Furey@unh.edu

Current Position:
Assistant Professor, University of New Hampshire
 


Jeffrey Simms
(M.S. 2009)

Current Position:
Senior Staff Scientist, Cardno ENTRIX, Houston, TX


Ryan Schloesser
(M.S. 2009)
rschloesser@vims.edu

Current Position:
Ph.D. student, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Jessica L. Beck
Dr. Jessica L. Beck (Ph.D 2008)
jess.beck@noaa.gov

Current Position:
Southeast Regional Aquaculture Coordinator, Aquaculture Program, NOAA, US Department of Commerce

Joseph J. Mikulas
Joseph J. Mikulas
(M.S. 2007)

Current Position:
Secondary Science Teacher, Katy ISD, TX

Lindsay A. Glass
Dr. Lindsay Glass Campbell
(M.S. 2006)
laglass@ncsu.edu

Current Position:

Biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Richard T. Kraus
Dr. Richard T. Kraus
(Post-doc 2003-2006)
rkraus@usgs.gov

Current Position:
Station Supervisor, Lake Erie Biological Station, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Sandusky, Ohio


Yan Cai
(M.S. 2005)

Current Position:
Research Associate, Hainan University

Jason P. Turner
Dr. Jason P. Turner
(Ph.D 2004)
jpturner@hawaii.edu

Current Position:
Associate Professor, University of Hawai'i at Hilo


R.J. David Wells

Dr. R.J. David Wells
(M.S. 2002, Post-doc 2007-2010)
wellsr@tamug.edu

Current Position:
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Matt W. Johnson
Matt W. Johnson
(M.S. 2000)
mathew.johnson@tamucc.edu

Current Position:
Assistant Research Scientist and Fisheries and Mariculture Program Coordinator, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Bert W. Geary
Bert W. Geary
(M.S. 2000)


Collaborators

Dave Secor, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland

John Graves, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Gregorio De Metrio, University of Bari, Italy

G. Joan Holt, University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Scott Holt, University of Texas Marine Science Institute

John Neilson, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

Jay Kaufman, University of Maryland

Enrique Rodriguez-Marin, Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Spain

Eric Prince, NOAA Fisheries-SEFSC

Barbara Block, Stanford University

Greg Stunz, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Will Heyman, Texas A&M University

John Hoolihan, University of Miami

Dave Itano, University of Hawaii

Haritz Arrizabalaga, AZTI Tecnalia, San Sebastian, Spain

Jim Franks, University of Southern Mississippi

Mario Sprovieri, Sicily, Italy

 

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Dr. Jay R. Rooker Department of Marine Biology
Texas A&M University @ Galveston
1001 Texas Clipper Rd, Galveston, Texas 77554
rookerj@tamug.edu 409-740-4744
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