MEES News, January 2014

Congratulations to December 2013 MEES Graduates

Ph.D. - Habibul Bakht, Kevin Meyer

M.S. -  Blessing Edje, Emily Tewes, Vanessa Vargas, Sadaf Yahyai

Student News:

Rebecca Lazarus, a MEES doctoral candidate working with Drs. Barnett Rattner and Mary Ann Ottinger, received a student travel award to attend the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry meeting in Nashville, TN in November 2013.

Two MEES students will be starting Sea Grant Knauss Fellowships in February. Tamara Newcomer (MEES doctoral candidate working with Dr. Sujay Kaushal) is going to be Sea Grant's Natural Resource Specialist.  Emily Tewes (an M.S. graduate under Dr. Brad Stevens) will be the NOAA Climate Board Coordinator for the NOAA Climate Program Office.

The Ecological Society of America’s 2014 recipients of its annual Graduate Student Policy Award include Brittany West Marsden, a MEES doctoral candidate working with Dr. Maile Neel. The student awardees will participate in policy training sessions as well as meetings with decision-makers on Capitol Hill in April.

Sarah Rains, a MEES M.S. student working with Dr. Mike Wilberg, has been awarded a fellowship to work with the NSF- funded National Socio-Economic Synthesis Center (SESync).  As part of her fellowship Sarah will be working on a project to assess the effectiveness of commercial fishery management policies for blue crab throughout the United States. 

Crystal Romeo Upperman, a doctoral student working with Dr. Amir Sapkota, is part of the three-person team awarded the $10,000 University of Maryland Council on the Environment Green Fund Fellowship for their application entitled “Redefining the Concept of ‘Green:’ the Fate and Characterization of Nanomaterials in the Anacostia Watershed.”

Jan Vicente, a MEES doctoral candidate working with Dr. Russell Hill, was awarded the runner-up prize for his oral presentation “Diversity and functionality of microbial symbionts associated with a two-sponge symbiosis in the Caribbean” at the 10th Annual International Marine Biotechnology Conference (IMBC).


Fertig, B., Kennish, M.J., Sakowicz, G.P., Reynolds, L.K. Online First. Mind the Data Gap: Identifying and Assessing Drivers of Changing Eutrophication Condition (Link)

Estuaries and Coasts. December 2013

Rattner BA, Horak KE, Lazarus RS, Goldade DA, Johnston JJ. 2014. Toxicokinetics and coagulopathy threshold of the rodenticide diphacinone in eastern screech-owls (Megascops asio). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 33:74-81.

Salice CJ, Rowe CL, Eisenreich KM. 2014. Integrative demographic modeling reveals population level impacts of PCB toxicity to juvenile snapping turtles. Environmental Pollution 184:154-160.

E. Snellman. 2014 Guidelines and protocols for safe practice in fresh produce production: FDA legislation, In: Global safety of fresh produce: a handbook of best practice, innovative commercial solutions and case studies.

Suarez-Rubio, M., Wilson, S., Leimgruber, P., & Lookingbill, T. (2013). Threshold Responses of Forest Birds to Landscape Changes around Exurban Development. PLoS One, 8(6), 11 pp

Techa, S. and Chung, J. S. (2013). Ecdysone and retinoid-X receptors of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus: Cloning and their expression patterns in eyestalks and Y-organs during the molt cycle. Gene, 527(1), 139–153.

Testa, J.M. and W.M. Kemp. 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of winter-spring oxygen depletion in Chesapeake Bay bottom water. Estuaries and Coasts. doi: 10.1007/s12237-014-9775-8.

Watson, A. M., Barrows, F. T. and Place, A. R. (2013). Taurine Supplementation of Plant Derived Protein and n-3 Fatty Acids are Critical for Optimal Growth and Development of Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Lipids, 48(9), 899–913.

Alumni News:

In December 2013, Dail Laughinghouse (MEES 2012 PhD under Dr. Patrick Kangas) started a new postdoc position at Smith College on the NSF Funded Open Tree of Life focusing on Phylogenomics of the Microbial Tree of Life.

A new study published in Nature and co-authored by Drs. Chris Moore and Daniel Obrist of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute establishes, for the first time, a link between Arctic sea ice dynamics and the region’s changing atmospheric chemistry potentially leading to increased amounts of mercury deposited to the Earth’s northernmost and most fragile ecosystems.  Chris received his PhD from MEES, working with Dr. Mark Castro, in 2011.  Christopher W. Moore, Daniel Obrist, Alexandra Steffen, Ralf M. Staebler, Thomas A. Douglas, Andreas Richter & Son V. Nghiem.Convective forcing of mercury and ozone in the Arctic boundary layer induced by leads in sea ice. Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature12924

MEES Alumnus Jacques Ravel just received two major NIH awards: A five-year, $2,698,000 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) at the National Institutes of Health for the study “Influence of Modifiable Factors on the Vaginal Microbiota and Preterm Birth” and a five-year, $2,650,000 grant from NINR for the study “Revealing the Role of the Cervico- Vaginal Microbiome in Spontaneous Pre-term Birth.”  Jacques is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine and Associate Director for genomics at the Institute for Genome Sciences.  He completed his Ph.D. in the MEES Program in 1999, co-advised by Dr. Russell Hill and Dr. Frank Robb.  

Faculty News:

Dr. Donald Boesch is one of five new members to join the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative’s distinguished Leadership Council, an influential group of ocean leaders tasked with changing the way we manage the nation’s oceans and coasts. The Joint Initiative was created in 2005 as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. Since its formation, it has sustained a broad-based, bipartisan effort to influence meaningful ocean policy reform and action at the national, regional, and state levels. 

MEES News, November 2013

Student News:

Following a nomination by Chapter AH, Easton, Maryland, Dana Bunnell-Young (doctoral candidate with Dr. Thomas Fisher) was awarded a P.E.O International Scholar Award for 2014. On a competitive basis, the organization awards $15,000 scholarships to women pursuing a doctoral degree.  Dana is also a “National Geographic Young Explorer,” having been awarded one of their coveted grants this year and is the recipient of a competitive National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.

Brittany Marsden (a MEES doctoral candidate working with Dr. Maile Neel) was awarded the Maryland Environmental Education Scholarship for Academic Study by the NAAEE (North American Association for Environmental Education).

Matthew Parker (a MEES doctoral student working with Drs. Reginal Harrell and Douglas Lipton) is a co-PI on a grant recently funded by the National Sea Grant Office entitled “Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension 2013 Evaluation of Innovative Practices for Sustainable Aquaculture Development in Chesapeake Bay.”  Matt will be working on estimating the value of ecosystem services of oyster farms in the bay modeling nutrient cycling on aquaculture farms with Dr. Suzanne Bricker, Manager of NOAA's National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.

Michael Pennino, a MEES doctoral candidate working with Drs. Sujay Kaushal and Andrew Miller, was awarded the Joan Ehrenfeld Award for Best Student Presentation in Urban Ecology at the 2013 Ecological Society of America meeting.

Ryan Powell, MEES doctoral candidate working with Dr. Russell Hill, received the best poster award at the 2013 MEES Colloquium for his poster entitled, “Rapid Harvest of Microalgae Using a Novel Bacterial Isolate.”

MEES doctoral student Rhea Thompson (advisor Dr. David Tilley) has been awarded the National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship at the University of Maryland. The Fellowship is a highly competitive program designed to encourage and support UMCP graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

MEES GSO Photo Contest results:

1st place: Emily Tewes (UMES), "Prothonotary Warbler"

2nd place: Emily Tewes (UMES), "Gold Dust Day Gecko"

3rd place: Kristen Lycett (UMES), "Pony Swim"


Alvarez J V and J S Chung. 2013. Cloning of prophenoloxidase from hemocytes of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus and its expression and enzyme activity during the molt cycle. Fish & Shellfish Immunology 35(5): 1349-1358

Boynton, W.R., C.L.S. Hodgkins, C.A. O'Leary, E.M. Bailey, A.R. Bayard and L.A. Wainger. 2013. Multi-decade Responses of a Tidal Creek System to Nutrient Load Reductions: Mattawoman Creek, Maryland USA. Estuaries and Coasts.

Colton, A. R., M. J. Wilberg, V. Coles, and T. J. Miller. In press.  An evaluation of the synchronization in the dynamics of blue crab populations in the western Atlantic.  Fisheries Oceanography.

Kazyak DC, Letcher BH, Zydlewski J, O’Donnell MJ. 2013. Growth variability of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) in coastal Maine. Ecology of Freshwater Fish.

Marsden, B.W., Engelhardt, K.A.M., Neel, M.C. (2013) Genetic rescue versus outbreeding depression in Vallisneria americana: Implications for mixing seed sources for restoration. Biol. Conserv. 167: 203-214. doi:

Rattner B.A., Lazarus R.S., Heinz G.H., Karouna-Renier N.K., Schultz S.L., Hale R.C. (2013). Comparative embryotoxicity of a pentabrominated diphenyl ether mixture to common terns (Sterna hirundo) and American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Chemosphere. 93 (2): 441-447. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.05.030

Robinson, J. M., M. J. Wilberg, J. Adams, and M. L. Jones. In press. A spatially specific age-structured model for describing sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) population dynamics. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science.

Suarez-Rubio, M., Wilson, S., Leimgruber, P., & Lookingbill, T. (2013). Threshold Responses of Forest Birds to Landscape Changes around Exurban Development. PLoS One, 8(6), 11 pp.

Techa, S. and Chung, J. S. (2013). Ecdysone and retinoid-X receptors of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus: Cloning and their expression patterns in eyestalks and Y-organs during the molt cycle. Gene, 527(1), 139–153.

Wainger, L.A. and J.S. Shortle.  Local Innovations in Water Protection: Experiments with Economic Incentives.  The magazine of food, farm, and resource issues.  Choices 28(3), 6 pp.

Watson, A. M., Barrows, F. T., and Place, A. R. (2013). Taurine Supplementation of Plant Derived Protein and n-3 Fatty Acids are Critical for Optimal Growth and Development of Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Lipids, 48(9), 899–913.

Wilberg, M. J., J. M. Robinson, S. A. M. Rains, J. L. Humphrey, and R. N. Lipcius. In press. Effects of location errors on estimates of dredge catchability from depletion based methods. Fisheries Research.

Alumni News:

Dail Laughinghouse, MEES Ph.D. in 2012 under Dr. Patrick Kangas, has been doing postdoctoral research in Antarctica and the Arctic with the Universite de Liege.  In November, he will start a new position on an NSF Microbial Tree of Life grant.

Courtney McGeachy, a 2012 MEES M.S. graduate under Dr. Bradley Stevens, has been promoted to Coordinator, Marine and Coastal Conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Aaron Watson, MEES 2013 Ph.D. under Dr. Allen Place, will be starting a position in November as Assistant Marine Scientist at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Research Institute in Charleston, SC.

Faculty News:

Dr. Madhumi Mitra, along with co-authors Abhijit Nagchaudhuri and Corrinne Johnson Rutzke, was awarded the Best Paper published within the Energy Conversion and Conservation Division (ECCD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) for the paper entitled, “Energizing the STEAM Curricula with Bioenergy and Bioproducts.” 

MEES News, August 2013

Congratulations to August 2013 MEES Graduates:

Ph.D. - Jason Robinson, Jeremy Testa, Aaron Watson

M.S. - Emily Christenson, Meghann Niesen, Michael O’Brien, Rebecca Swerida, Kara Zabetakis

Student News:

Hillary Lane, a MEES doctoral student working with Dr. Thomas Miller and Dr. Kennedy Paynter, has been appointed as the UMCES Representative on the Student Advisory Council to the Maryland Higher Education Committee.

Jessica L. Blois, Phoebe L. Zarnetske, Matthew C. Fitzpatrick, Seth Finnegan.Climate Change and the Past, Present, and Future of Biotic Interactions. Science 341(6145): 499-504. DOI: 10.1126/science.1237184

Grant, M. N., Meritt, D. W., & Kimmel, D. G. (2013). Chemical induction of settlement behavior in larvae of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin). Aquaculture, 402, 84–91.

Johnson, M. D., Stoecker, D. K., & Marshall, H. G. (2013). Seasonal dynamics of Mesodinium rubrum in Chesapeake Bay. J. Plankton Res., 35(4), 877–893.

Kazyak, D. C., Hilderbrand, R. H., & Holloway, A. E. (2013). Rapid Visual Assessment to Determine Sex in Brook Trout. North Am. J. Fish Manage. 33(3), 665–668.

Lee, Y. J., Boynton, W. R., Li, M., & Li, Y. (2013). Role of Late Winter-Spring Wind Influencing Summer Hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries Coasts, 36(4), 683–696.

Niklitchek, E.J., D.H. Secor, P. Toledo, X. Valenzuela, A. Zuleta, L. Cubillos. In Press Nursery systems for Western Patagonian ground fish stocks: large inner sea or narrow continental shelf? ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Salice CJ, Rowe CL, Eisenreich KM.  2013. Integrative demographic modeling reveals population level impacts of PCB toxicity to juvenile snapping turtles.  Environmental Pollution, In Press.

Vicente, J., Stewart, A., Song, B., Hill, R. T., & Wright, J. L. (2013). Biodiversity of Actinomycetes Associated with Caribbean Sponges and Their Potential for Natural Product Discovery. Mar. Biotechnol., 15(4), 413–424.

Wilberg, M. J., J. Wiedenmann, and J. M. Robinson. 2013. Sustainable exploitation and management of autogenic ecosystem engineers: application to oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Ecological Applications 23:766-776.

Alumni News:

The NOAA Administrator’s Award is NOAA's highest honorary award and recognizes employees who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, skill, and ingenuity in their significant, unique, and original contributions that bring unusual credit to NOAA, the Department of Commerce, and the Federal Government.  The 2013 award for the National Ocean Service (NOS) is being presented to the team of Dr. Michael J. Dowgiallo for leading foundational research and consensus-building which established the new scientific field of deep light-dependent coral ecosystems.  Michael received his MEES doctoral degree under Dr. Marjorie Reaka in 2004 and is currently the Chief of NOAA NOS’s Regional Ecosystems Research Branch.

Dr. Nikisa Jordan George (MEES Ph.D. 2009 under Dr. Raymond Hoff) is the 2013 National Women of Color STEM Conference Technology Rising Star award winner.  Nikisa is employed by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES), Space Division, in Asuza, California as a Systems Engineer. She is responsible for Modeling and Analysis, specifically phenomenology and algorithm development, for ATMS and SSMIS, to determine the retrieval of brightness temperatures along with temperature and humidity sounding.

Dr. Robin Van Meter, MEES 2011 Ph.D. under Dr. Christopher Swan) has started a new position as an Assistant Professor at Washington College (Maryland) in Environmental Science and Biology. Previously Robin was an ORISE Post-doctoral Associate with the U.S. EPA’s Ecosystems Research Division in Athens, GA.

Faculty News:

At the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in August, Dr. David Inouye (Department of Biology, UMCP) began a three-year term on the ESA's Board of Governors.  He will serve this year as President-elect, will be President during the Society's 100th anniversary year, and then Past-President for year.  The ESA's 100th anniversary annual meeting will be held in Baltimore, in August 2015. 

MEES News, June 2013

MEES News June 2013

Congratulations to May 2013 MEES Graduates:

Ph.D. - Kristi Shaw, Jindong Zan

M.S. - Hakme Lee, Belita Nguluwe

Student News:

Dana Bunnell-Young, a doctoral candidate under Dr. Tom Fisher, was award a 2013-2015 NSF Dissertation Award for her MEES dissertation on anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to denitrification in the Choptank Basin (MD USA). Dana was also awarded a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant.

John Gardner, MEES M.S. student working with Dr. Tom Fisher, has been awarded a Maryland Water Resources Research Center Summer Fellowship and a grant from the Izaak Walton League.  John’s research involves the role of streams in nitrogen fluxes from watersheds in the Choptank River basin.

Tamara Newcomer, a MEES doctoral candidate working with Dr. Sujay Kaushal, has been awarded a 2014 Knauss Fellowship.

Recent Publications:

Brady, D. C., Testa, J. M., Di Toro, D. M., Boynton, W. R., & Kemp, W. M. (2013). Sediment flux modeling: Calibration and application for coastal systems. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 117, 107–124.

Codispoti, L. A., Kelly, V., Thessen, A., Matrai, P., Suttles, S., Hill, V., et al. (2013). Synthesis of primary production in the Arctic Ocean: III. Nitrate and phosphate based estimates of net community production. Prog. Oceanogr., 110, 126–150.

Eisenreich, K. M., & Rowe, C. L. (2013). Experimental exposure of eggs to polybrominated diphenyl ethers BDE-47 and BDE-99 in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and possible species-specific differences in debromination. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 32(2), 393–400.

Kazyak, D.C., R.H. Hilderbrand, and A.E. Holloway. 2013. Rapid visual assessment to determine sex in brook trout. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 33:665-668.

Lloyd, S. S., Elliott, D. T., & Roman, M. R. (2013). Egg production by the copepod, Eurytemora affinis, in Chesapeake Bay turbidity maximum regions. J. Plankton Res., 35(2), 299–308

Schlenger, A.J., E. North, Y. Li, K.A. Smith, and D.H. Secor. 2013. Modeling the influence of hypoxia on the potential habitat of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus): a comparison of two methods. Marine Ecology Progress Series 483: 257-272

Setterfield S, N.A. Rossiter-Rachor, M.M. Douglas, L.A. Wainger, K.B. Ferdinands, A. Petty, I.J. Shepherd, P. Barrow. 2013. Adding fuel to the fire: The impacts of non-native grass invasion on fire management at a regional scale. PLoS ONE 8(5): e59144. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059144

Stefansson, E. S., Heyes, A., & Rowe, C. L. (2013). Accumulation of dietary methylmercury and effects on growth and survival in two estuarine forage fish: Cyprinodon variegatus and Menidia beryllina. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 32(4), 848–856.

Zuria, I., & Gates, J. E. (2013). Community composition, species richness, and abundance of birds in field margins of central Mexico: local and landscape-scale effects. Agrofor. Syst., 87(2), 377–393.

Alumni News:

Renee Gruber (M.S. degree under Dr. Michael Kemp) is currently at the University of Western Australia working on her Ph.D. investigating physical controls on nutrients and productivity of coral reef ecosystems. Following receipt of her MEES degree, Renee took a position working in Sydney, Australia at the New South Wales Office of the Environment and Heritage, Estuaries and Catchments Unit, where she worked for studying estuarine seagrasses and their responses to eutrophication and climatic forces.  In August 2012 she matriculated into the School of Earth and the Environment at the University of Western Australia, with Professor Ryan Lowe serving has her research advisor. Visit her website at

Faculty News:

Dr. Keith Eshleman, an expert in the field of watershed hydrology, has been honored by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science with the President's Award for Excellence in Application of Science. Eshleman was recognized for his leadership in preparing a landmark report on best management practices for unconventional natural gas extraction, also known as fracking, as part of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative established by Governor Martin O'Malley.


MEES News, April 2013

MEES News April 2013

Student News:

Tamara Newcomer, a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Sujay Kaushal, has been awarded an Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship by the University of Maryland Graduate School.  The fellowship will support Tammy as she completes her dissertation entitled “Nitrogen uptake and denitrification in restored and degraded-urban streams: impacts of organic carbon and integrated stormwater management.”

Sara Rowland, a MEES doctoral student under Dr. Frank Robb, has been awarded a Fellowship by the National Science Foundation’s East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) program.  Sara will be joining a collaborating laboratory at the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) in Seoul for most of the summer of 2013.

Danielle Zaveta is the recipient of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory’s 2013 Drach-Mellody Navigator Award for student research for her research focusing on using RNA:DNA ratios as a tool to measure habitat quality in blue crab.  Danielle’s research is part of her M.S. degree that she is completing under the guidance of Tom Miller.  The Drach-Mellody Navigator Award is an annual award made by the CBL faculty to promote excellence in graduate research. 

Recent Publications:

Blank, P. J. 2013. Northern Bobwhite Response to Conservation Reserve Program habitat and Landscape Attributes. The Journal of Wildlife Management 77(1): 68-74.

Brandt, J.S., M.A. Haynes, T. Kuemmerle, Fang Zhendong, D. Waller, and V. Radeloff. 2013. Regime shift on the roof of the world: Alpine meadows convert to shrublands in the southern Himalayas. Biological Conservation 158: 116-127

L. Gemery, T.M.Cronin, L.W.Cooper, J.M.Grebmeier (2013) Temporal changes in benthic ostracode assemblages in the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas from 1976 to 2010. Deep-Sea Res II

Green, M., G.G. Waldbusser, L. Hubazc, E. Cathcart, and J. Hall. (2013). Carbonate Mineral Saturation State as the Recruitment Cue for Settling Bivalves in Marine Muds. Estuaries Coasts 36: 18-27.

Huang, Y., Z. He, J. Kan, A. K. Manohar, K. H. Nealson, and F. Mansfeld. In press. Electricity generation from a floating marine microbial fuel cell. Bioresource Technol.

Klug, JL, Richardson, DC, Ewing, HA, Hargreaves, BR, Samal, NR, Vachon, D, Pierson, DC, Lindsey, AM, O’Donnell, DM, Effler, SW and KC Weathers. 2012. Ecosystem Effects of a Tropical Cyclone on a Network of Lakes in Northeastern North America. Environ. Sci. Tech.

Lozano, C., E. D. Houde 2013. Factors contributing to variability in larval ingress of Atlantic menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 118: 1-10.

Mattson, J. B., E. F. Zipkin, B. Gardner, P. J. Blank, J. R. Sauer, and J. A. Royle. 2013. Explaining local-scale species distributions: relative contributions of spatial autocorrelation and landscape heterogeneity for an avian assemblage.  PLoS ONE 8(2): e55097.

Porter ET, Mason RP, Sanford LP (2013) Effects of shear stress and hard clams, Mercenaria mercenaria, on seston, microphytobenthos and nitrogen dynamics in mesocosms with tidal resuspension. Marine Ecology Progress Series 479:25-45.

Sharpe, P.J. and A.H. Baldwin. Wetland plant species richness across estuarine gradients: the role of the mid-domain effect. Aquatic Botany.

Sauer, J. R., P. J. Blank, E. F. Zipkin, J. E. Fallon, and F. W. Fallon. 2013. Using multi-species occupancy models in structured decision making on managed lands. Journal of Wildlife Management 77:117-127.

Waldbusser, G.G., E.N. Powell, and R. Mann (2013) Ecosystem effects of shell aggregations and cycling in coastal waters: an example of Chesapeake Bay oyster reefs. Ecology 94(4): 895-903. Invited Contribution

Alumni News:

Katrin Bockstahler Rudge (1992 MEES M.S.) has been named Sarasota County’s Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014.  Katrin teaches marine science at Riverview High School and is Director of the school’s Aquascience Program.

Melanie Harrison (MEES 2011 Ph.D. under Dr. Andrew Miller and Dr. Peter Groffman) was elected to the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Council as early career scientist member 2013-2015.  Melanie is currently a water quality specialist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, Protected Resources Division, at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Huang, P.M., Y.C. Li, M.E. Sumner (ed.), Handbook of Soil Sciences, 2nd ed. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL was chosen as a 2012 Outstanding Academic Title by the Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.

Paul Collodi, professor, and Ten-Tsao Wong, research associate, both in the Purdue Department of Animal Sciences, "Large-scale Production of Infertile Fish for Aquaculture and the Pet Industry," $44,233. The innovation could improve production of large aquaculture operations by preventing the release of farmed fish into the environment and the spread of invasive species. The funding will focus on how well the innovation can be applied to large-scale commercial hatchery operations. The Purdue Research Foundation-managed Trask Innovation Fund is a technology development program to assist faculty who have disclosed a discovery to the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization and are committed to commercializing the technology.

MEES News, February 2013

Congratulations to December 2012 MEES Graduates:

Ph.D. - Leah Beckett, Kenneth Belt, Caroline Fortunato, William Gardner, Lonnie Gonsalves, Yun Li, Adam Peer

M.S. - Whitney Dyson, Ammar Hanif, Momoko Ishikawa, Courtney McGeachy, Bhae-Jin Peemoeller, Sirinart Techa

Student News:

Jennifer Bosch, a doctoral candidate working with Dr. W. Michael Kemp, will spend a year as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship recipient at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. Jen will be a program analyst in NOAA’s Office of Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes. She will learn about the agency’s scientific activities and research and its labs, communicating with both the upper levels of NOAA engaged in policymaking and lab directors and scientists conducting actual research.

Caroline Coulter was awarded the 2013 Ruth Mathes Scholarship to study trace metal speciation in coal combustion byproduct effluent. Working wth Dr. Johan Schijf, she will be studying trace metals originating from power plants’ coal combustion byproduct (CCB), the solid product produced during coal combustion. Recent emissions-controlling processes employed in coal combustion have increased the amount of CCB produced, as well as its enrichment with trace metals. They will be looking specifically at the CCB placed in surface coal mines in Allegany and Garrett Counties in western Maryland.

In mid-March, Yuan-yuan Xu will be joining Dr. Johan Schijf and Dr. Hali Kilbourne to do field work in Anegada, British Virgin Islands.  Along with two graduate students from the University of Puerto Rico, they will be coring coral boulders washed ashore in either a large hurricane or during a tsunami. Yuan-yuan and Hali will be using the chemistry of these cores to reconstruct the climate of the region during the time of coral growth. The corals washed ashore during an important period Earth's climate known as the Medieval Climate anomaly and we will be comparing our record of Northern Caribbean climate with similar records from the Pacific to test the hypothesis that changes in the Pacific El Niño phenomenon caused the climate perturbation of the Medieval Climate Anomaly. This study contributes to our understanding of the magnitude and causes of natural climate variability, something we need for accurate climate predictions. 

Recent Publications:

Fertig, B. M., Carruthers, T. J. B., & Dennison, W. C. (2013). Oyster deltaN-15 as a Bioindicator of Potential Wastewater and Poultry Farming Impacts and Degraded Water Quality in a Subestuary of Chesapeake Bay. J. Coast. Res., In Press.

Fertig, B. M., O’Neil, J. M., Beckert, K. A., Cain, C. J., Needham, D. M., Carruthers, T. J. B., et al. (2013). Elucidating terrestrial nutrient sources to a coastal lagoon, Chincoteague Bay, Maryland, USA. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 116: 1-10.

Harvey, R.H., Taylor, K.A., Fink, H.V and Mitchelmore, C.L.  Organic Contaminants in Chukchi Sea Biota and Sediments and its Toxicological Response in the Arctic cod, Boreogadus saida. Deep Sea Research.

Kaushal, Sujay S.; Belt, Kenneth T. 2012. The urban watershed continuum: evolving spatial and temporal dimensions. Urban Ecosystems. 15: 409-435.

Keller, D. P., & Hood, R. R. (2013). Comparative simulations of dissolved organic matter cycling in idealized oceanic, coastal, and estuarine surface waters. J. Mar. Syst., 109, 109–128.

Lozano, C. and Houde, E. D. 2013. Factors contributing to variability in larval ingress of Atlantic menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 118: 1-10. 

Miller, DA, JD Nichols, BA McClintock, EHC Grant, LL Bailey, L Weir. Improving estimates of occupancy when two forms of observation error occur: non-detection and species misidentification. In press, Ecology.

Albert Neutznera, Sunan Li, Shan Xu, Mariusz Karbowski. The ubiquitin/proteasome system-dependent control of mitochondrial steps in Apoptosis. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 23 (2012) 499– 508

Rochelle-Newall, E.J., Torreton, J.P., Mari, X., Pringault, O. Phytoplankton-bacterioplankton coupling in the coastal sub-tropical South Pacific. Aquatic Microbial Ecology (in press)

Rochelle-Newall E., Rouchon C., Mari X., Torréton JP. and Pringault O. Zinc induces shifts in microbial carbon flux. Aquatic Microbial Ecology (in press)

Smalley, G.W., D.W. Coats, D.K. Stoecker.  Influence of inorganic nutrients, irraniance, and time of day on food uptake by the mixotrophic dinoflagellate Neoceratium furca. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 68:29-41(2012). Doi: 10.3354/ame01599

Suarez-Rubio, M; Lookingbill, TR; Wainger, LA (2012): Modeling exurban development near Washington, DC, USA: comparison of a pattern-based model and a spatially-explicit econometric model. Landscape Ecol. 2012; 27(7): 1045-1061.

Suarez-Rubio, M; Lookingbill, TR; Elmore, AJ (2012): Exurban development derived from Landsat from 1986 to 2009 surrounding the District of Columbia, USA. Remote Sens Environ. 2012; 124: 360-370

Sutton, A.J. (2012): Everyday scientists: High school poets, home brewers, and scuba divers. Sources: The Journal of Underwater Education, 24(4), 56–57.

Woodland, R., D. H. Secor, M. C. Fabrizio, and M. J. Wilberg.  2012.  Comparing the nursery role of inner continental shelf and estuarine habitats for temperate marine fishes. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 99:61-73

Alumni News:

Thomas Bianchi, MEES Ph.D. in 1987 under Drs. Donald Rice and Rodger Dawson, has been elected an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow.  Dr. Bianchi is currently the James R. Whatley Chair in Geosciences and Professor, Chemical Section, in the Department of Oceanography, at Texas A & M University.

Courtney McGeachy (MEES M.S. 2012) accepted a position as Grant Administrator for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Washington, DC.

Faculty News:

Dr. Patricia Glibert, a Professor at the Horn Point Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Glibert is internationally renowned in the field of marine ecological research, particularly regarding the harmful effects of algal blooms and the effects of nutrient pollution on coastal marine ecosystems, such as the Chesapeake Bay. 

MEES News, November 2012

Student News:

Rebecca Lazarus, doctoral candidate working with Drs. Mary Ann Ottinger and Barnett Rattner, received the best poster award at the 2012 MEES Colloquium.  Her poster entitled “Contaminant exposure and potential effects to osprey nesting (Pandion haliaetus) in Chesapeake Bay regions of concern” received consistently high praise from all judges.

Recent Publications:

Karen M. Eisenreich, Karen M. Dean, Mary Ann Ottinger, Christopher L. Rowe (2012) Comparative effects of in ovo exposure to sodium perchlorate on development, growth, metabolism, and thyroid function in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 156: 166-170.

Fertig, B., Kennish, M.J., and Sakowicz, G.P. In Press. Changing eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) characteristics in a highly eutrophic temperate coastal lagoon. Aquatic Botany. (2012).

Fertig, B., O'Neil, J.M., Beckert, K.A., Cain, C.J., Needham, D.M., Carruthers, T.J.B., Dennison, W.C. In Press. Elucidating terrestrial nutrient sources to a coastal lagoon, Chincoteague Bay, Maryland, USA. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. (2012).

Gao, Y., Cornwell, J. C., Stoecker, D. K., & Owens, M. S. (2012). Effects of cyanobacterial-driven pH increases on sediment nutrient fluxes and coupled nitrification-denitrification in a shallow fresh water estuary. Biogeosciences, 9(7), 2697–2710.

Jia, P. and M. Li. 2012. Dynamics of wind-driven circulation in a shallow lagoon with strong horizontal density gradient. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 117, C05013, doi:10.1029/2011JC007475.

Li, Y. and M. Li. 2012. Wind-driven lateral circulation in a stratified estuary and its effects on the along-channel flow. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 117, C09005, doi:10.1029/2011JC007829. 

C. Lozano, E. D. Houde, R. L. Wingate, D. H. Secor. 2012. Age, growth and hatch dates of ingressing larvae and surviving juveniles of Atlantic menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus. Journal of Fish Biology 81: 1665-1685. 

Newcomer, T. A., Kaushal, S. S., Mayer, P. M., Shields, A. R., Canuel, E. A., Groffman, P. M., and A. J. Gold (2012), Influence of natural and novel organic carbon sources on denitrification in forested, degraded-urban, and restored streams, Ecological Monographs, doi: 10.1890/12-0458.1.

Pitula JS, Dyson WD, Bakht HB, Njoku I, and Chen F. (2012) Temporal distribution of genetically homogenous 'free-living' Hematodinium sp. in a Delmarva coastal ecosystem. Aquat Biosyst. 8:16; doi: 10.1186/2046-9063-8-16

Stæhr, P.A., J.M. Testa, W.M. Kemp, J.J. Cole, K. Sand-Jensen, S.V. Smith. 2012. The metabolism of aquatic ecosystems: History, methods, and applications. Aquatic Sciences 74: 15-29.

Testa, J.M., W.M. Kemp, C.S. Hopkinson, and S.V. Smith. 2012. Ecosystem Metabolism. In: Day, J.W., Crump, B.C., Kemp, W.M., and Yáñez-Arancibia, A. (Eds.), Estuarine Ecology, Volume 2, Chapter 15, pp. 381-416. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.

Testa, J. M. and Kemp, W. M. (2012). Hypoxia-induced shifts in nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in Chesapeake Bay. Limnol. Oceanogr., 57(3), 835–850.

Zan, J., Cicirelli, E.M., N. M. Mohamed, H. Sibhatu, S. Kroll, O. Choi, C. L. Uhlson, R. C. Murphy, M. E. A. Churchill, R. T. Hill and C. Fuqua. A complex LuxI-LuxR quorum sensing network in a Roseobacterial marine sponge symbiont activates flagellar motility and inhibits biofilm formation. Mol.Microbiol. 85:916-933.

Zoll A.M. and J. Schijf (2012) A surface complexation model of YREE sorption on Ulva lactuca in 0.05-5.0 M NaCl solutions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 97, 183-199.

Alumni News:

Benjamin Fertig, MEES Ph.D. under Dr. William Dennison in 2010, received an Early Career Travel Award from AERS/CERF to attend the CERF meeting in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

Dail Laughinghouse, MEES August 2012 Ph.D. under Dr. Patrick Kangas, is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Bacterial Physiology & Genetics at the Centre of Protein Engineering, Universite de Liege, Belgium.

MEES News, September 2012

Congratulations to August 2012 MEES Graduates:
Ph.D. – Zhiliang Chen, H. Dail Laughinghouse, Diann Prosser, Margaret Sexton, Verena Starke
M.S. – Christian Conroy, Laura Gemery, Adam Schlenger, Brianne Walsh, Kimberly Webb, Lisa Wilt, Jin Xu

Student News:

Dot Lundberg, MEES doctoral student working with Brian Needelman, received a 2012 Garden Club of America Award in Coastal Wetlands Studies. Along with her advisor, Dot also was awarded a Maryland Water Resources Grant.

Robert Sabo, MEES student working with Dr. Keith Eshleman, has been awarded a two-year EPA STAR Fellowship to work on water quality in Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

Recent Publications:

Cynthia J. Bashore, Hillary A. LaneKennedy T. Paynter, Mike Naylor, James R. Harding, David C. Love. 2012. Analysis of marine police citations and judicial decisions for illegal harvesting of oysters (Crassostrea virginica, Gmelin 1791) in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay, United States from 1959 to 2010. J. Shellfish Res. 31(3): 591-598.

Eisenreich, K.M. and C.L. Rowe. 2012. In press. Experimental embryonic exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers BDE-47 and BDE-99 in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and species-specific differences in debromination. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Eisenreich, K.M., Dean KM, Ottinger MA, and C.L. Rowe. 2012. Comparative effects of in ovo exposure to sodium perchlorate on development, growth, metabolism, and thyroid function in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C 56:166-170.

Fertig, B.J.M. O'NeilK.A. Beckert, C.J. Cain, D.M. Needham, T.J.B. Carruthers, W.C. Dennison. In Press. Elucidating terrestrial nutrient sources to a coastal lagoon, Chincoteague Bay, Maryland, USA, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (2012),

Newcomer, T. A.Kaushal, S. S., Mayer, P. M., Shields, A. R., Canuel, E. A., Groffman, P. M., and A. J. Gold (2012), Influence of natural and novel organic carbon sources on denitrification in forested, degraded-urban, and restored streams, Ecological Monographs, doi:10.1890/12-0458.1.

Pincin (Barkman), J.S., and M.J. Wilberg. 2012. Surplus Production Model Accuracy in Populations Affected by a No-Take Marine Protected Area. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 4: 511-525.

Joseph S PitulaWhitney D DysonHabibul B Bakht, Ihuoma Njoku and Feng Chen. 2012. Temporal distribution of genetically homogenous 'free-living' Hematodinium sp. in a Delmarva coastal ecosystem. Aquatic Biosystems 8:16 doi:10.1186/2046-9063-8-16

Thorson, J.T., Branch, T.A., and O.P. Jensen. 2012. Using model-based inference to evaluate global fisheries status from landings, location and life history data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 69:645-655.

Zoll A.M. and J. Schijf (2012) A surface complexation model of YREE sorption on Ulva lactuca in 0.05-5.0 M NaCl solutions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, doi:

Alumni News:

Lisa Kerr (MEES 2008 Ph.D. under Dr. David Secor) was awarded the 2010 W.F. Thompson Best Student Paper Award by the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists for her paper, Kerr, L.A., S.X. Cadrin, and D.H. Secor. 2010. The role of spatial dynamics in the stability, resilience, and productivity of fish populations: An evaluation based on white perch in the Chesapeake Bay. Ecological Applications 20: 497-507. This is a national competition for papers in fisheries and aquatic sciences and represents the third time a MEES PhD student has received this award (Richard Kraus, 2005; Edwin Niklitschek, 2006).

Faculty News:

Dr. Raymond Hoff received The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Distinguished Public Service Medal (DPSM). The DPSM serves as NASA's "highest form of recognition that is awarded to any non-Government individual or to an individual who was not a Government employee during the period in which the service was performed, whose distinguished service, ability, or vision has personally contributed to NASA's advancement of United States' interests," according to the agency's website. Hoff received his medal "for distinguished service and leadership in Earth observations and their application for societal benefit." 

MEES News, July 2012

Student News:

College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences Dean's Fellowships were awarded to MEES doctoral candidatesJessica FauxRebecca LazarusJeremy TestaKimberly Vest and Aaron Watson.

Jennifer Bosch, a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Michael Kemp, and Nicole Mehaffie, an M.S. student working with Dr. Thomas Miller, have been selected as a National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship finalists. Both will work as executive branch fellows during 2013. 

The research of MEES doctoral candidate Rebecca Lazarus (working under Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger) was highlighted on the front page of the Baltimore Sun on July 10. See

Jan Vicente (MEES doctoral student working with Dr. Russell Hill) has been awarded a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship. This Program recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research. The scholarship provides substantial support for Jan's graduate studies over the next three years.

Lisa Wilt, MEES M.S. student working with Dr. Jacqueline Grebmeier, was awarded a College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences Merit Fellowship.

Recent Publications:

Fortunato, C. S., Herfort, L., Zuber, P., Baptista, A. M., & Crump, B. C. (2012). Spatial variability overwhelms seasonal patterns in bacterioplankton communities across a river to ocean gradient. Isme J., 6(3), 554–563.

Laughinghouse IV, HD; Prá, D; Silva-Stenico, ME; Rieger, A; Frescura, VD-S; Fiore, MF; Tedesco, SB. Monitoring the Genotoxicity and Cytotoxicity of Microcystis aeruginosa (Chroococcales, Cyanobacteria) by the Allium cepa test. Science of the Total Environment 432: 180-188.

Moore, E. K., Nunn, B. L., Goodlett, D. R., & Harvey, H. R. (2012). Identifying and tracking proteins through the marine water column: Insights into the inputs and preservation mechanisms of protein in sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 83, 324–359.

Watson, A.M., Kissil, G.Wm., Barrows, F.T., Place, A.R. 2012. Developing a plant-based diet for Cobia Rachycentron canadum. International Aquafeed. 15:1, 34-38.

Alumni News:

Amy Horneman (2001 MEES Ph.D. under Dr. J. Glenn Morris) was quoted in Times-Georgian, May 28, 2012 in a story on a strain of bacteria, Aeromonas hydrophila, that caused the flesh eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis, which nearly killed a University of West Georgia student. Amy is currently the Chief of Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics, Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System's Medical Center.

MEES alumni Josh Newhard (M.S. in 2009 under Drs. Joseph Love and Douglas Ruby) was quoted in a June 4, 2012 Washington Post article entitled "Contest removes loads of snakeheads from Potomac." In discussing the snakehead populations, the article stated, "Female snakeheads are thought to carry an average of 400 eggs. But four days ago, Josh Newhard, a fish biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, found one with 1,000 eggs after electrifying the water to test stunned fish. That was the most we’ve ever recorded," he said. "It means removing these females could potentially have an impact."

Faculty News:

Dr. Lora Harris has been appointed as a Member-At-Large on the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS) governing board. AERS is the regional affiliate society for the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).

Dr. Allen Place, a professor and biochemist with the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, was honored with President's Award for Science Application by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Dr. Place was recognized for his biological research that takes diverse approaches to address many practical problems, from the causes of toxic algal blooms and ways they can be controlled to formulating sustainable foods used to cultivate fish in aquaculture. 

MEES News, May 2012

Congratulations to May 2012 MEES Graduates: 
Ph.D. – Yonghui Gao, Bradd Haley, Sara Lombardi, Adam Tulu
M.S. – Jinna Choi, Emily Stefansson, Katherine Ziombra

Student News:

MEES Ph.D. student Jeanette Davis was awarded First Prize for the graduate student oral presentation in the "NOAA Healthy Oceans" category at the NOAA-Educational Partnership Program's Education and Science Forum in March. Her talk about sea slugs as a source of anti-cancer compounds was based on some of her research with her advisor Dr. Russell Hill.

Crystal Romeo, a MEES doctoral student working with Dr. Amir Sapkota, was awarded a first place for her poster presentation at UMCP's Graduate Research Interaction Day. Crystal's poster, Indicators for Examining Potential Chronic Respiratory Effects of Climate Change, was in the Assessing Environmental and Energy Issues theme division. On April 24th, 2012, Crystal was invited to attend an event at the White House where EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson was the guest moderator in discussing women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). She was interviewed by the BET news network about her passion for the sciences and environment: Over the summer she will progress in her doctoral research aiming to quantify the effects of climate change on the exacerbation of asthma while working as a Guest Researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics. 

Recent Publications:

Kimberly Anderson and Kevin R. Sowers. 2012. Desiccation as a Long-Term Survival Mechanism for the archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78: 1473-1479.

King, D. M.Hagan, P. T., Riggio, M., & Wright, D. A. (2012). Preview of global ballast water treatment markets. J. Mar. Eng. Technol., 11(1), 3–15.

Mylonas, C.C., Zohar, Y., Pankhurst, N., Kagawa, H. and Chang, C.F. (in press). Reproduction and broodstock management in Sparidae. In: Sparidea: Biology and Aquaculture (M. Pavlidis and C.C. Mylonas, eds).

Woodland, R. J., D. H. Secor, M. C. Fabrizio, and M. J. Wilberg. 2012. Comparing the nursery role of inner continental shelf and estuarine habitats for temperate marine fishes. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 99:61-73. 

Faculty News:

Dr. Michael Kemp has been awarded the University System of Maryland's highest honor, the Regents' Faculty Award for Excellence, in recognition of outstanding research in the fields of ecology, marine science, and environmental science. A leader in his field, Dr. Kemp has had a major influence on our knowledge of why the Chesapeake Bay and coastal ecosystems around the world have degraded and how they can be recovered.

Commencement 2012 Photos

Check out a few pics from the Spring 2012 UMCP Commencement!