Principal Investigator      

Photo of Dr. Anja Schulze

Dr. Anja Schulze
Assistant Department Head of Graduate Affairs
Phone: +1 (409) 740-4540

Bld. # 3029, Office 258

Biography of Dr. Anja Schulze

Research Interests

Phylogeny and population genetics of marine invertebrates, particularly polychaete worms. Reproduction and development of marine invertebrates. Deep sea biology.

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Ph.D. Students      

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Justin Hilliard


B.S. Fairmont State University (2013)

Research Interests

My general research interests are in evolutionary biology, more specifically in elucidating patterns and causes of speciation. Questions of interest to me are those related to the phylogeography, population genetics/genomics, and phylogenetics/-genomics of cryptic species complexes. Members of a cryptic species complex often look nearly identical but are quite diverse with regards to their genetics and life history strategies, providing an array of research opportunities. I plan to use the Capitella capitata cryptic species complex (Annelida, Capitellidae) as a model to answer specific questions such as:

• How many species exist along the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts?
• What is the population connectivity along the Texas coast and what environmental factors are playing a role in the connectivity?
• How many developmental strategies exist along the coast of Texas and, more generally, in the Gulf of Mexico?

I’m also interested in the phylogeny of the family Capitellidae in general and the genus Capitella specifically.

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Marissa Hajduk


B.A. Canisius College (2005)
B.A. SUNY Buffalo State College (2010)
M.S. University of Alaska Fairbanks (2015)

Research Interests

My research background includes both marine and freshwater ecosystems. As an undergraduate I studied invasive molluscs and their corresponding symbionts in the lower Great Lakes (Lakes Erie and Ontario). As a master’s student I studied ecology of benthic invertebrates in the Chukchi Sea (AK), with a focus on describing the density and distribution patterns of benthic marine meiofauna in the Arctic. My current research interests include benthic ecology, meiobenthology, and using genetics to quantify meiofaunal communities.

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Candace Grimes


B.Sc. University of Oklahoma (2013)
M.S. Nova Southeastern University (2016)

Research Interests

My research interests include population genetics, transcriptomics, physiology, and phylogenomics of marine invertebrates, specifically polychaete worms. Also, I am interested microbial community compositions associated with marine invertebrates and how they change in response to stressors.

As a master's student, I studied macroinfaunal assemblages in nearshore environments relating to sedimentary characteristics and hints at latitudinal trends. I also examined dredging effects on nearby s

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MC Hannon


Education B.Sc. Humboldt State University (2015)

Research Interests

My current research interests are a conglomerate of my past experiences. While at Humboldt State University, I received a hands-on-degree in Marine Biology and Zoology, focusing on rocky intertidal interactions. Through this education, my research, and my own personal collections I have developed an interest in understanding the diversity of invertebrate morphology. Furthermore, via collaborations, I have expanded my taxonomy, morphometric analysis, and fluorescent and scanning electron microscopy skill sets. Here, I hope to use these tools to develop a project describing different aspects of Polychaete chaetae. Questions regarding the molecular system in chaetae generation, the variety of shapes and forms of chaetae, and the phylogenetic relationship of polychaetes intrigue me. I prefer to take an interdisciplinary approach to science and enjoy disseminating my research to the scientific and local community alike

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