Thesis/Dissertation Topics

Amato, Jamie. Environmentally friendly alternatives to bulkheads for resilient and healthy shorelines: evaluation and implementation of two living shoreline designs. M.S. (USA)
Aven, Allen. Habitat use by the West Indian manatee in Alabama Waters. Ph.D. (USA)

Bohaboy, Erin. Discarded catch in northern Gulf of Mexico recreational fisheries: angler behavior, discard mortality, effects on fish stocks, and mitigation techniques. Ph.D (USA)
DaCosta, Kayla. Manatee habitat use and population connectivity in the northern Gulf of Mexico using chemical and genetic analyses. Ph.D. (USA)
Dahl, Kristen. Life History and Ecology of Rapidly Expanding Invasive Lionfish Populations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Impacts to Native Reef Fish Communities and their Potential Mitigation.  Ph.D. (USA).
Dykstra, Steve. The influence of geomorphology on coastal circulation. Ph.D. (USA)
Gadeken, Kara. Effects of diversity on coastal sediment community response to periodic hypoxia. Ph.D. (USA)
Garner, Steve. Selectivity of circle hooks in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Ph.D. (USA)
Jefferson, Amanda. Age, Growth, and Distribution of Gray Triggerfish in the Alabama Artificial Reef Zone. M.S. (USA)
Macy, Aaron. Functional Shifts with Tropicalization in the Louisiana Marsh-Mangrove Ecotone. Ph.D. (USA)
McDonald, Ashley. The effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on the life history and restoration potential of seagrass populations susceptible to climate change effects. Ph.D. (USA)
Miller, Molly. Anthropogenic Nutrient Input and its Influence on Plant Competitive Outcomes:  Implications for Habitat Degradation and Community Shifts. Ph.D. (USA)
Nicholson, Haley.  Larval oyster (Crassostrea virginica) settlement, distribution, and growth in a freshwater dominated and human influenced estuary. Ph.D. (USA)
Ortell, Natalie. Abundance and diversity of Archaea in the northern Gulf of Mexico and interactions with hypoxia. Ph.D. (USA)
Pruente, Victoria. Effects of tumbling and refrigeration on the abundance of Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in cultured oysters (Crassostrea virginica) M.S. (AU)
Seubert, Emily. Functional diversity and trophic ecology of apex and mesopredators in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.  M.S. (USA).
Wang, Lei. Nitrogen cycling processes in the Mobile Bay, AL estuary and its salt marsh systems. Ph.D. (USA).
Wessel, Caitlin. Marine Debris in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Ph.D. (USA).

2017 Graduates

Camp, Ashley.   Environmental Impacts of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. M.S.  (USA).

Barnes, Gracie.  Age, growth, and radiocarbon age validation of short bigeye and blue angelfish from the West Florida Shelf. M.S.  (USA).

Blandford, Jacob.  Living shorelines as an alternate solution to shoreline erosion for private landowners.   M.S.  (USA).  

Buckley, Courtney.  Estimates of post-release mortality and site fidelity of hatchery-raised red drum using acoustic telemetry.  M.S.  (USA)

Lewis, Justin.  Use of vertebral chemistry to infer natal origin of the blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  M.S.  (USA).  

White, Sarah.  Lionfish abundance and distribution in the Alabama Artificial Reef Zone.   M.S.  ( USA).  

2016 Graduates

Cumbaa, Natalie.  Microbial processes in the northern gulf of mexico: interactions with hypoxia and an emphasis on archaea. Ph.D.  (USA)

Hannan, Kristin.   Life history of the gulf chimaera, hydrolagus alberti, with distribution and biomass estimates for deepwater chondrichthyans in the northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S.  (USA).

Kennedy, Maddie.  Impacts of wintering redhead duck (aythya americana) foraging in seagrasses (halodule wrightii and ruppia maritima) of the Alabama coast.  M.S.  (USA).

Kleinhuizen, Alice.  Determining sediment nutrient fluxes and rates of denitrification in a Juncus roemerianus and a reconstructed marsh in the northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (UA)

Marshak, Anthony.  Ecological impacts of climate-related ichthyofaunal shifts and invasive lionfish upon the northern Gulf of Mexico red snapper population and reef fish community.  Ph.D. (USA)

Motard-Cote, Jessie.  Significance of slowly-degrading dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) pools in the biogeochemical cycling of DMSP-sulfur and carbon in marine waters.  Ph.D.  (USA).

Sharma, Shailesh. ​​Utilizing living shorelines and hybrid designs for coastal restoration: Impacts on water quality, submerged aquatic vegetation, salt marsh flora and associated organisms​. Ph.D. (USA)

2015 Graduates

Condon, Elizabeth. Biogeochemical and microbial indicators of land-use change in a Northern Gulf of Mexico estuary. Ph.D. (USA).

Kroetz, Andrea. Movement and trophic dynamics of two estuarine mesopredators: Bonnetheads (Sphyrna tiburo) and Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus). Ph.D. (USA)

Norberg, Michael. The ecology of Tomtate, Haemulon aurolineatum, in the northern Gulf of Mexico and effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Ph.D. (USA).

Scheffel, Whitney. Impacts of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) expansion on faunal communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA).

Spearman, Trey. Effects of Large-Scale Habitat Modification on Fish And Invertebrate Communities within Alabama’s Reef Permit Zone. M.S. (USA).

Stone, Laura. Biotelemetry Based Estimates of Greater Amberjack (Seriola Dumerili) Post-Release Mortality in the Northcentral Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA).  

Schrandt, Meagan. Connectivity and habitat use of two coastal pelagic species, Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus) and Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus). Ph.D. (USA).

Marquez, Israel. The consequences of mesoscale eddies on the coupling of Si and organic matter export in the Sargasso Sea. M.S. (USA). 

2014 Graduates

Chiaverano, Luciano. Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in jellyfish polyps and medusae: ecological implications. Ph.D. (USA)

Dalrymple, Donald J. Effects of ontogeny on nitrogen sequestration and removal capacity of oysters. M.S. (USA)

Gamble, Rachel. Fish and macroinvertebrate communities in shallow coastal waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico: a comparison among coastal lagoons with varying seagrass cover. M.S. (USA)

Kramer, Lindsey. Trophic Dynamics and Community Assemblages of Larval and Juvenile Fishes Associated with Floating Sargassum in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Ph.D. (USA).  

Louallen-Hightower, Crystal N. Evaluating the current status of red drum (sciaenops ocellatus) in offshore waters of the north central Gulf of Mexico: age and growth, abundance, and mercury concentration. M.S. (USA)

Stapleton III, Charles A. Assessing the impact of natural and human disturbances on diatom assemblages. in the lower delta, Mobile Bay, Alabama, USA: a forensic paleoecological study. Ph.D. (USA).

2013 Graduates

Christiaen, Bart. Natural and Human Drivers of Seagrass Ecosystems: Detection, Impact and Restoration. Ph.D. (USA).

Gamble, Rachel B. Fish and Macroinvertebrate Communities in Shallow Coastal Waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico: A comparison among Coastal Lagoons with Varying Seagrass Cover. M.S. (USA)

Johnson, Marshal. Trophodynamic Characteristics of Larval Gulf Menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) Collected off Coastal Alabama M.S. (USA)

Jones, Christian M. Growth and Mortality of Pre- and Post-Settlement Age-0 Red Snapper, Lutjanus campechanus (Poey 1860), in the Gulf of Mexico. Ph.D. (USA)

Lee, Larissa. Effects of Coral Species Richness and Predation Threat on Herbivore Behavior. M.S. (USA)

Patterson, Heather. Dissolved Oxygen Stress on the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica: Implications for Physiology, Management and Restoration Efforts. Ph.D. (USA)

Presley, Daniel. Combining Multiple Microbial Source Tracking Methods to Determine the Source of Fecal Contamination in Little Lagoon. M.S. (USA)

Sparks, Eric. Restoration Effectiveness, Nutrient Filtration and Grazing in Juncus roemerianus (Black Needlerush) Marshes. Ph.D. (USA)

2012 Graduates

Collini, Renee. Quantification of Hydromedusae Predation on Fish Eggs in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA)

D'Ambra, Isabella. Application of stable isotopes in the analysis of trophic interactions between gelatinous Zooplankton and fish. Ph.D. (USA)

Lang, Lanora. The effects of hypoxia and other environmental factors on the vertical distribution of larval fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA)

Liefer, Justin. Phytoplankton Community Structure and The Physiological Ecology of The Toxic, Bloom-forming diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp. in Coastal Alabama. Ph.D. (USA)

Madsen, Shana. Top-down impacts of exploited higher-order consumers on the structure and function of a species-rich community, M.S. (USA)

Money, Erin. An evaluation of deepwater,artificial reef-associated fish aggregating devices in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA)

Robinson, Kelly L. Climate drives local to global variations of coastal gelatinous zooplankton. Ph.D. (USA).

Scyphers, Steven. Restoring Oyster Reefs along Eroding Shorelines: An Ecological and Socioeconomic Assessment. Ph.D. (USA)

2011 Graduates

Ajemian, Matthew. Foraging ecology of large benthic mesopredators: effects of myliobatid rays on benthic communities. Ph.D. (USA)

Fisher, Karen. Evaluating nursery habitat utilization by juvenile gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, M.S. (USA)

Gericke, Rebecca. Effects of climate-driven range expansions of tropical snapper species (lutjanus spp.) on the dominant native species (pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides). M.S. (USA)

Kenworthy, Matt. Effects of Temporal Variation in Predation Risk on Predator-Prey Interactions, M.S. (USA)

Miller, Glenn. The influence of avian predators on nearshore communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico and Copper River Delta, Alaska: implications for habitat conservation. Ph.D. (USA)

Myers, Joseph. Effects of species-specific grazing and nutrient addition on growth and production of the shoalgrass Halodule wrightii and its epiphyte. M.S. (USA)

Novoveska, Lucie. The influence of avian predators on nearshore communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico and Copper River Delta, Alaska: implications for habitat conservation. Ph.D. (USA)

Shiplett, Randi. Selective feeding and ichthyoplankton predation by scyphomedusae in the northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA)

Smith, Casey. The relationship between phytoplankton pigment concentrations and dmsp,dms, and dmso in a diatomdominated bloom in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, M.S. (USA)

Stults, Debra. Paleoclimates from two LateNeogene Fossil Floras of Eastern North America,including Comparisons with the Marine Record, Ph.D. (USA) 

2010 Graduates

Baggett, Lesley. The effects of nutrient enrichment on the stoichiometry, fitness, fecundity, and feeding preference of invertebrate grazers of seagrass (Thalassia testudinum) epiphytes in Florida Bay, Florida, USA.  Ph.D. (USA).

Biancani, Peter. Seasonal and Spatial Effects of Waste Water Effluent on Oyster Growth, Survival, and Sanitation in Mobile Bay, Alabama. M.S. (USA)

Drymon, Marcus. Distributions of Coastal Sharks within the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Consequences for Trophic Transfer and Foodweb Dynamics. Ph.D.(USA).

LeMoine, Nathan. Individual and community level responses of crustaceans and fish to restoration of marine biogenic habitat. M.S. (USA).

Martin, Charles. Impacts of Invasive Eurasian Milfoil and Nile Tilapia in Coastal Alabama. Ph.D. (USA).

Millett, Andrew F. Zooplankton Communities in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Ecosystem Management. M.S. (USA).

Puntila, Riika. Do piscivorous fish have cascading impacts on lower trophic levels in coral reef environment: comparisons of food web interactions in back reef and fore reef environments. M.S. (USA).

Steele, LaTina. Seagrass Phenolics: Induction by Grazing and Efficacy as Feeding Deterrents. PH.D. (USA).

Wells, Tami M. Natural disasters and long-term recovery: A baseline study of historical change and habitat structure of Juncus roemerianus marshes in Mississippi and Alabama. Ph.D. (USA).

2009 Graduates

Gutierrez, Robert. The Effect of Increased Nutrients Via Bird Guano on Seagrass Macroinfaunal Communities.

Hilbun, Nancy. Historical reconstruction of land - use alterations and corresponding flood events in Bahia Almirante, Bocas del Toro, Panama over the last 30 years: Utilizing geochemical biomarkers. Ph.D. (USA).

Kim, Choong Ki.   A study on the numerical modeling of the circulation and mass transport by tide and mean current in the South Sea.  Ph.D. (USA).

Moody, Ryan.  The ontogenetic effects of predation on populations of a marine gastropod.  Ph.D. (USA).

Pabody, Claire.  Occurrence, Distribution, Habitat Utilization & Population Ecology of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Wolf Bay & Perdido Pass, AL.   M.S. (UA).

Reynolds, Brad. Artificial reefs as fish habitat enhancement tools for Alaska's coastal waters. Robinson, Orin. Nest site selection in brown pelicans on a man made island. M.S. (USA).

Senne, Joseph. Variability in Salinity and Dissolved Oxygen in Southwest Mobile Bay, Alabama.  M.S. (USA).

Shaffer, Nicole.  M.S. (USA). Comparing growth rates and age-at-length relationships of Red Snapper, Lutjanus Campechanus, among heavily fished and lightly fished regions of Alabama and Louisiana.

2008 Graduates

Canion, Andy. Variability in Phytoplankton Productivity on Hourly to Monthly Time-Scales and Its Coupling with Nitrogen Inputs to Weeks Bay, Alabama. M.S. (USA).

Del Valle, Daniela. Biogeochemical cycling of DMS and DMSO in the surface ocean, with emphasis on the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Ph.D. (USA)

Husband, J. Daniel. Role of DMSP in oxidative stress protection in Spartina alterniflora. Ph.D. (USA).

McKay, Kelly. The effects of prior grazing by the variegated sea urchin and the bucktooth parrotfish on the palatability of turtlegrass. M.S. (USA).

Miller, Mary-Elizabeth C. Settlement and Survival of the Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia sp. (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) in Response to Hypoxia. M.S. (USA).

Plutchak, Rochelle. An Assessment of Services Provided by Artificial Oyster Reefs: Primary Production and Nutrients in Tidal Creeks. M.S. (USA).

Rellinger, Allison/Ali. Distribution and cycling of DMSP and DMS in the deep waters of the Ross Sea, Antarctica.  M.S. (USA).

Sheehan, Kate.  Associations between Environmental Factors and Grass Shrimp Parasites in Coastal Alabama. M.S. (USA).

Shipley, Brooke.  An artificial reef model on red snapper foraging. A Thesis Defense: Red Snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, Food Web Models on Alabama Artificial Reefs. Ph.D. (USA).

2007 Graduates

Anton, Andrea.  The impact of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on the ecological services provided by seagrass meadows. M.S. (USA).

Connors, James. Groundwater flow dynamics and associated inorganic nitrogen transport, Weeks Bay, Alabama. Ph.D. (USA).

Husband, J. Daniel. Role of DMSP in oxidative stress protection in Spartina alterniflora. Ph.D. (USA).

Murdoch, Thad. A Functional Group approach for predicting the composition of hard coral assemblages in Florida and Bermuda. Ph.D. (USA).

Newton, D. Craig. Juvenile Red Snapper Density, Diet, and Growth Among Four Nursery Habitats in the Northcentral Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA).

Shafer, Deborah. Physiological factors affecting the distribution of the nonindigenous seagrass Zostera Japonica along the Pacific Coast of North America. M.S. (USA).

Steeves, Carly. The Effects of Increased Habitat Structure on Predation Rates in Seagrass Beds. M.S. (USA).

Stutes, Jason. Seagrass (Halodule wrightii) communities of the Northwest Gulf of Mexico: Differences in production dynamics and primary consumption across a gradient of human impact. Ph.D. (USA). 

2006 Graduates

Bood, Nadia.   The recovery and resilience of coral assemblage on managed and unmanaged reefs in Belize: A long-term study. M.S. (USA).  

Booth, Dale.   The impact of oysters on the growth and recruitment of Halodule wrightii.  M.S. (USA). Bruton, Jody. Fates of methanethiol in coastal seawater. Ph.D. (USA).

Clardy, Todd.  Stock discrimination between eastern Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla, using otolith shape analysis. M.S. (USA).

Furman, Brad.  Effects of Nutrient Enrichment and Grazers on Coral Reefs:  An Experimental Assessment.  M.S. (USA). Geraldi, Nathan M.S. (USA).

Gregalis, Kevan. Evaluation of fisheries benefits of oyster reef restoration along an environmental gradient in Mobile Bay, Alabama. M.S. (USA).

Harada, Hyakubun.  Effects of UV radiation and oxidative stress on the production of methylated sulfur compounds by marine phytoplankton.  Ph.D. (USA).

Johnson, Matthew.  The role of habitat fragmentation per se on the structure and function of seagrass ecosystems in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Ph.D. (USA). 

2005 Graduates

Blackmon, Derrick C.   Diel Vertical Migration of Seagrass-Associated Benthic Invertebrates: A Novel Escape Mechanism that Provides an Allochthonous Input of Seagrass-Based Prodcution to Coral Reef Resident Predators, Ph.D.(USA).

Higgins, III, John.  Overcoming gamete dilution in free-spawning zooplankton: How the moon jellyfish, Aurelia sp., exploits the water column to maximize fertilization success.  Ph.D.(USA).  

Hunter, Amy. The effects of anthropogenic eutrophication on the carbon budget of black needlerush, Juncus roemerianus, marshes. Ph.D. (UA).

Kramer, Katherine Lindsey.  Has marine reserve protection made a difference?  Fish community structure, grazing intensity and coral recruitment on protected patch reefs. M.S. (USA).

Kroutil, Ryan.  An experimental assessment of the impacts of coral loss on fish community composition in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  M.S. (USA).  

Lopez, Chad.   Sediment Plume Variability and Associated Phytoplankton Responses in the Alabama Coastal Shelf Waters Using Satellite Imagery. M.S. (USA)    

Martin, Jonathan.  A multiscale analysis of the spatial variability of gelatinous zooplankton in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  M.S. (USA). 

2004 Graduates

Corcoran, Alina A.  The effects of ultraviolet-B radiation and nutrient enrichment on the biomass, production and metabolism of microphytobenthic communities in coastal lagoons. M.S. (UA).  

Dunsmuir, Adrienne L.  Effects of Anthropogenic Eutrophication on the Estuarine Microphytobenthic Communities:  Do Light and Nutrients Matter?  M.S. (USA).

Jackson, Jered.  Changes in biomass production and diets of Bay anchovy, Atlantic croaker, spot, and Gulf Menhaden in Mobile Bay over seasons, and as a result of wind-driven resuspension events.  M.S. (USA)  

Kellogg, Mary "Lisa".   Reef restoration: Using habitat structure, hydrodynamics, and target species ecology to develop design criteria.  Ph.D. (USA).

Prerost, Julie. Size and Sexual Structure of Squilla Empusa Populations in the North Central Gulf of Mexico:  The Role of Behavior in Determining Predation by Lutjanus Campechanus.  M.S.  (USA)    

Rakow, Kelly.  Oriented swimming by the Scyphomedusa Aurelia against shear flow. M.S. (USA).  

Russell, Carolanne.  The effect of sediment resuspension on nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics in shallow estuaries:  A mesocosm experiment.  M.S. (USA)  

Shotts, Kelly. Determining the role of non-point source nutrient inputs in the food web of the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Alabama using stable isotope analysis. M.S. (USA)   

2003 Graduates

Christian, Juliet.  Evaluating the Energetic Value and Structural Contributions of Mangroves and Seagrasses to Local Fish Populations: The Importance of Habitat Connectivity. M.S. (USA)

Fioravanti, Geremea.   The role of habitat architecture in regulating communities of reef fishes and spatial subsidies in marine reserves of the upper Florida Keys. M.S. (USA).    

Goecker, Meg.  The effects of Nitrogen Content of Turtlegrass, Thalassia testudinum, on rates of herbivory by the bucktooth parrotfish, Sparisoma radians.  M.S. (USA).

Kilbane, Deborah Ann.   Intra-year class cannibalism in early juvenile blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus). M.S. (USA).

Lartigue, Julien.  Nitrate uptake, nitrogen storage, and nitrate reductase activity in estuarine Enteromorpha sp. (Chlorophyceae). Ph.D. (USA).

Lehrter, John.  Estuarine Ecosystem Motabolis and Retention of Allocthonous nutrient loads in three tidal river estuarine systems. Ph.D. (UA)

McCawley, Jessica. A bioenergetics approach for estimating prey demand by red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, on Alabama artificial reefs. M.S. (USA).

Peachey, Rita. The effects of UV and pollutant-enhanced effects of UV on larvae of estuarine species. Ph.D. (USA).

Wapnick Cheryl.  A Historical Perspective on Shifting Dominance of a Coral Reef Community in Jamaica.  M.S. (USA).

Woods, Melissa. Reproductive biology of red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. M.S. (USA).

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