Associate Professor Department of Marine Science
Phone: 361-749-6756
Office Location
MSP 340

Postal Address
The University of Texas at Austin Mar Sci Inst-Port Aransas
750 Channel View Dr
Port Aransas, TX 78373340


Current Graduate Students

       Heng Chen wei
Hengchen Wei received his B.E. and M.S.E. degrees in Environmental Engineering from the South China University of Technology and Johns Hopkins University. He is currently working toward the Ph.D. in Marine Science at UTMSI under the joint supervision of Drs. James McClelland and Amber Hardison. His dissertation project is about nitrogen transport/transformation in tidal freshwater zones (TFZ) of South Texas rivers and the role of TFZ in modulating nitrogen export from watersheds to estuaries.

             Xin Xu
Xin Xu is a phd student co-advised by Dr. Amber Hardison, working on nitrogen biogeochemistry in tidal freshwater zones of south Texas rivers. The tidal freshwater zones, characterized by long residence time, are important in transportation and transformation of nutrient loading from the watershed to the estuary. Xin’s research focuses on chemical and biological processes at the sediment-water interface associated with N cycling. Before joining UTMSI in 2015, she studied and worked at University of Michigan on water quality and climate change issues in the Great Lakes watershed.

      Craig Connelly
My interests focus broadly on climate change and land-ocean coupling in Arctic ecosystems at regional and global scales. Specifically, I am examining the quantities, sources, and fate of groundwater dissolved organic matter (DOM) inputs to lagoon systems along the Eastern Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast, and how anticipated changes in Arctic warming will affect theses processes in the future. I am also investigating patterns in fluvial concentrations and watershed yields across northern Alaska and the major Arctic drainage basins to provide tools for estimating DOM fluxes that improve our ability to develop pan-Arctic estimates of watershed export.


Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Fellow Supervision

Students                            Degree Working Toward        Degree Completed

Rae Mooney                          M.S.                                        Summer 2009

Karen Bishop                         M.S.                                        Spring 2012

Stephanie Smith                    M.S.                                        Summer 2015

Matt Khosh                            Ph.D.                                       Fall 2015

Claire Griffin                          Ph.D.                                       Spring 2016

Craig Connolly                       Ph.D.

Hengchen Wei                       Ph.D.

Xin Xu                                    Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Amy Townsend-Small, May 2006-April 2007

Tara Connelly, January 2012 – 2014

Undergraduate Research Supervision

Grayson Barker (Appalachian State), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2016

Ana Salamanca (TAMU – Corpus Christi), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2016

Kylie Holt (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Spring 2016

Tricia Light (Scripps College), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2015

Sierra Melton (Colorado College), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2015

Mike Ward (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Summer 2014

John O’Connor (Villanova), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2014

Eric Atwood (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Spring 2014

Jonathan Avila (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Spring 2014

Jessica Smith (Trinity College), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2013

Steven Cao (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Summer 2011

Jessica Casillas (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Summer 2011

Jennifer Klingshirn (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Summer 2011

Steven Cao (UT Austin), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2010

Dylan Brandenberg (Black Hills State University), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2009

Brian Peters (University of Miami), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2009

Katherine Napier (UT Austin), undergraduate research for credit, Summer 2008

Stephanie Bulloch (UT El Paso), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2008

Nicholas Klein (Augustana College), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2008

Chad Wagoner (Western Washington U), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2007

Stephanie Diaz (California State, Fullerton), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2007

Philip Riekenberg (UT Austin), undergraduate thesis project, Summer-Fall 2006

Breton Frazer (MIT), NSF-REU intern, Summer 2006