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   Student News
 Student News
   Travel, scholarships, presentations

Barraza presents in California
Alternative development for Galveston
HRI doctoral student Eleonor Barraza presented a talk at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting as part of Eleonor Barrazaa session dedicated to the interdisciplinary application of geosciences, risks, economics and public interest. During her talk entitled "How would a more resilient Galveston Island look?" Barraza presented alternative urban development scenarios for West Galveston, Texas, based on geohazards information and appraisal district data. This presentation built upon work previously done by HRI's Chair for Geospatial Sciences Dr. James Gibeaut and collaborators.

Kilgour at Smithsonian Museum
Collects data for deep sea crab research
HRI doctoral student Morgan Kilgour returned to the Smithsonian Museum Support Morgan KilgourCenter for almost two weeks in February to collect data for her dissertation. Kilgour is working on Gulf of Mexico deep sea crabs under HRI Endowed Chair for Biodiversity and Conservation Dr. Tom Shirley. While at the museum, Kilgour visited the infamous giant squid written about in Dan Brown's suspense novel "The Lost Symbol."

Fisheries & Ocean Health News
Students travel, receive scholarships
HRI’s Fisheries and Ocean Health students Judd Curtis and Mark Thomas traveled to San Marcos, Texas, to the Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society annual meeting to each receive $1,500 scholarships. The scholarship selection was based on academic excellence and significant contribution to the field of fisheries science. Curtis, an HRI Marine Biology Ph.D. student under the mentorship of Dr. Greg Stunz, has been conducting extensive work on red snapper ecology in the Gulf of Mexico. Thomas, an undergraduate student in the Biology program, has been a volunteer in the Fisheries and Ocean Health lab since 2010 and has helped with numerous projects from trout tagging to in-lab habitat selection experiments.
   Ph.D. candidate Bridgette Froeschke, mentored by Stunz, recently published part of her dissertation work in the international journal Fisheries Research (vol. 108). Her research assessed the long-term population trends of southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) in the northern Gulf of Mexico using times series analysis.
   Biology undergraduate student Rebecca Pizano was nominated as TAMUCC’s representative at the Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capital in Austin. This prestigious event showcased for Texas legislators and the public the work of undergraduate students engaged in research. Pizano presented findings on the effects of barotrauma on red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, which she researched during an HRI internship under Stunz.

Hutchison presents in Arizona
Topic: prioritizing habitat management
HRI's Lauren Hutchison, right, at conference.
HRI's Lauren Hutchison, right, at conference.
(click photo to enlarge)

HRI student Lauren Hutchison was awarded two scholarships to attend a conference called A Community on Ecosystem Services (ACES) held December 6-9, 2010, at the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. Hutchison is currently earning a masters degree through TAMUCC's Environmental Science Department. Both she and HRI Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics Dr. David Yoskowitz made presentations during a special session focused on coastal and marine ecosystem services in the Gulf of Mexico. Hutchison presented preliminary results of her thesis in a talk entitled “The prioritization of habitat management areas using stakeholder analysis of ecosystem services within a GIS framework.” Her advisor is HRI Endowed Chair for Ecosystem Studies and Modeling Dr. Paul Montagna.

Reuscher describes new species
HRI PhD student published in journal
HRI student Michael Reuscher recently described a tiny new species, a deep-sea marine worm that he named "Sphaerodoropsis solis." When describing a new species, scientists publish an article that includes a name, drawings and a description of how it is different from similar species. To derive the name he created a Latinized version of the research vessel "Sonne" (which means "sun" in German) from which the worm was collected in the southwest Pacific using an epibenthic sledge, a device that is towed along the ocean floor. The description is published in the current issue of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association, listing Reuscher and his former advisor in Heidelberg, Dr. Dieter Fiege, as co-authors. While examining the worms under a microscope, the scientists examined one male and one female specimen, showing evidence of a sexual dimorphism, which is relatively uncommon in polychaetes, since most can be distinguished only by presence of either eggs or sperm in their body cavity. It was that difference that led them to recognize the worms as being previously unknown to science. At HRI, Reuscher created the detailed figures in PhotoShop and finished writing the paper that was recently published.
Sphaerodoropsis solis (click to enlarge)
Sphaerodoropsis solis (click to enlarge)

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