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      

Photo of Vanessa Fernandez-Rodriguez

Vanessa Fernandez-Rodriguez


B.Sc. Biology, University of Antioquia (2013)
M.Sc. Marine Biology and Coastal Environments, Fluminense Federal University (2017)

Research Interests

My background includes both marine research and environmental consultancy in freshwater, as well as teaching experience as a lecturer for undergraduate courses in my home country. As an undergrad student, I studied the distribution of the polychaete communities in the Gulf of Uraba (Colombian Caribbean). For my Master's project, I investigated the effects of organic matter on polychaetes along the east coast of South America using a meta-analytical approach. Additionally, I am a former fellow of the Partnership for Observation of The Global Ocean (POGO) through a shipboard training program in deep-sea biology at the National Oceanography Centre (United Kingdom).

Currently, as a Ph.D. student, my research focuses on the study of non-native polychaetes species in Galveston Bay, specifically the serpulid Ficopomatus enigmaticus, to answer the following questions:

  1. Which environmental factors drive the occurrence and potential proliferation of F. enigmaticus?
  2. Was F. enigmaticus introduced once into Galveston Bay or is its presence the result of multiple introductions?
  3. What is the impact of different temperatures on the expression of Heat Shock Proteins?

Stay tuned for research results in my ORCID profile

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M.S. Students      

Photo of Daniel Fanning

Daniel Fanning


B.S. Texas A&M University - Galveston (2020)

Research Interests

My research interests include genomics, physiology, and parasitology. Research questions that interest me involve the physiological changes a host undergoes when infected with a parasite, the mechanics of interspecies biological interactions such as the kleptoplasty performed by nudibranchs, and the differentiation of cryptic species within a species complex.

I am currently conducting research on the Palaemon genus, commonly known as grass shrimp, to properly assess their genetic diversity via DNA barcoding. This genus contains several species that are highly similar in appearance, and the genus as a whole still contains some phylogenetic ambiguity. This makes it ripe for additional research on evolutionary history and diversity.

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