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.