We had our first lab meeting of the semester! We have a lot of new members of the lab this fall - and I am so excited for their enthusiasm to do some stream ecology research!
Amber headed to Palma de Mallorca, Spain in early June to present & attend the 2023 Association for Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting. She had a great time soaking in lots of science and meeting colleagues.
We celebrated the end of the academic year and our spring/summer graduates over home-made pizza!
Here is the crew - old and new members of the lab (post pizza)!
Christian Lewis, Marlyn Hernandez and Danielle Grabert graduated Spring 2023 and Cinthia Lopez will finish in August 2023. We are happy (but a little bit sad) to see them go -- but Congrats! Onwards and Upwards!
Max Lannom knocked his comprehensive exam out of the water - a major hurdle in his prusuit for a Master's degree. Well done Max!!
Danielle Grabert and Cinthia Lopez presented at SHSU's Honor's college Undergraduate Research Symposim. Danielle gave a talk on stream structure and Cinthia shared her findings on nutrient limitation across agricultural, urban, and forested streams. Well done to the both of them!
Danielle Grabert and Marlyn Hernandez presented at the Texas Academy of Sciences in San Angelo, Texas. Both did an awesome job on their presentations! Way to go!
To celebrate the end of a successful semester, the lab headed to a local pottery studio where we all learned how to hand build bowls out of clay. We are all looking forward to what 2023 has in store!
Amber headed to San Marcos for a 3-day all-hands meeting with our NSF TERRG project. The goal of the meeting was to discuss data, analyses, and future papers. Overall, the meeting was a success. We met daily at Spring Lake Hall overlooking one of the many springs in San Marcos. We even were inspired by our breakfast waffles as we thought about stream ecosystems across the coastal plain Texas precipitation gradient.
NSF-funded REU student Kaitlyn Blankley from Eastern University (located in Pennsylvania) spent the summer at SHSU working on modeling dissolved oxygen data from Harmon Creek to estimate daily gross primary production and ecosystem respiration. Katie presented her work both as a talk and a poster along with her fellow REU students! Well done Katie!
Amber spent a week in Mexico working with Drs Mercedes Castillo (ECOSUR) and Krista Capps (UGA) and colleagues checking out several rivers where we are working on estimating ecosystem metabolism. These are all mid-size tropical rivers where work is done via boat. It was an amazing trip! We saw (and heard) monkeys, crocodiles, and even a Tapir!
Amber attended the 'Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting' (JASM) in Grand Rapids, Michigan and presented work on carbon spiraling in Texas Coastal Streams.
JASM was a huge success and the first meeting since the start of the COVID pandemic. The meeting consisted of members of the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS), Association for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), American Fisheries Society (AFS), and several other aquatic societies!
Danielle Grabert and Marlyn Hernandez led the efforts to present our lab's research at the SHSU Undergraduate Research Conference. The presented a poster as a team and did a wonderful job!
Co-authors included Tyler Clay and former lab members Katrina Stephen and Makayla Mcilhaney.
MS Student Connor Brown successfully defended his thesis 'Ecosystem metabolism of coastal Texas streams across precipitation regimes and land use gradients'.
Congratulations to our December 2021 graduates!
We are really going to miss them both! Onwards and upwards!
Funding was granted to continue work on our sensor station in located in the Pineywoods Environmental Research Laboratory (PERL)! Danielle Grabert and Marlyn Hernandez will continue studying the metabolic regime of Harmon Creek with funds from SHSU COSET undergraduate research awards!
Connor and Amber attended the annual Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) meeting where Connor presented his Master's work on Ecosystem Metabolism across coastal plain TX streams. The meeting was virtual this year and we are looking forward to meeting in person (hopefully!) next year.
Funding was awarded from the National Science Foundation to study the impact of the recent polar vortex on Texas Coastal streams (NSF-DEB-2128280): Collaborative Research: RAPID: Quantifying the response of stream ecosystems to a punctuated cold-stress disturbance across a semi-arid to sub-humid gradient.
Collaborators: J. Derek Hogan (lead, TAMUCC), Chris Patrick, Bradley Strickland (VIMS), Hannah Vander Zanden, Matt Whiles (University of Florida)
Funding was acquired through a SHSU COSET undergraduate research award for Katrina Stephen and Makayla Mcilhaney to work in the lab and field this summer on our sensor station!
March has started out great! Makayla and Katrina have been collecting leaf packs for Makayla's leaf decomposition experiment. We also captured a high flow event -- increased dissolved organic carbon and particulate organic matter - baby steps toward developing rating curves for our deployed sensors!
We (and our sensors) survived a week of cold and snow due to the polar vortex. While SHSU was closed and we were all home dealing with power and water issues, our sensors remained in the field collecting data.
First data download indicated that Harmon Creek got down to 0 degrees Celsius during the arctic blast!
We have been busy in the lab and field! Makayla has been working on getting her leaf decomposition study together - along with help from Katrina. Connor has been busy sampling Texas Coastal Streams and crunching metabolism data for our NSF funded TERRG project. And finally, we have deployed sensors out at our local field station to collect high-frequency data on dissolved oxygen, temperature, dissolved organic matter, turbidity, and conductivity. So far, so good! Excited to see what data may come!
We kicked off the New Year with Connor & Dani heading to the field to maintain our dissolved oxygen sensors along the Texas Coastal Streams for our NSF TERRG project while Amber headed to the local field station to scout a hidden gem of a stream with colleagues from the SHSU Environmental and Geosciences Department - Drs. Ross Guida and Pat Harris!
Connor (MS student) successfully passed his comprehensive exams. To celebrate, we headed to the local stream for some socially-distanced sampling (Connor is in the yellow shirt). Congratulations Connor!
Despite COVID we have been able to (safely) continue with our field work across our Texas Coastal Stream sites as Connor along with help from his friends and fellow graduate students at SHSU have been able to get out and keep up with our monthly sampling for our NSF funded TERRG project. Thank you Chelsea & Brittney!
Since January - Connor, along with our colleagues in Corpus Christi, TX, have been heading to the field monthly to collect data from dissolved organic carbon, oxygen, and nutrients to fish and bugs along 9 Texas Coastal streams as part of our NSF funded TERRG project.
Amber attended the 5th symposium on urbanization and stream ecology (SUSE) in Austin, TX. She worked with fellow scientists from across the U.S., Europe, and Australia, engineers, and community members of Austin to tackle some of the issues the city of Austin is facing with its streams.
Bob Hall (Flathead Biological Station, University of Montana) and Amber published a review article on gas exchange in streams and rivers in WIREs Water.
Amber and Connor headed to Corpus Christi for the NSF funded TERRG kick-off meeting where the crews from SHSU, TAMU-Corpus Christi, and University of Florida could meet, discuss science, and check out our stream sites along the coastal precipitation gradient. It was a great productive, fun weekend! Field work officially starts in January.
Here are the other 3 of the PIs on the project - Drs. Matt Whiles, Derek Hogan, and Chris Patrick checking out one of our driest sites.
Amber, along with colleagues Drs. Chris Patrick, J Derek Hogan (Texas A&M University Corpus Christi), and Matt Whiles (University of Florida) were awarded funding from the National Science Foundation to study the linkages between stream metabolism and higher trophic levels across the climate gradient of Texas coastal streams. The project, TERRG: Thresholds in ecosystem responses to rainfall gradients, will kick off this fall!
Dr. Carmen Montaña's summer class got out into the field to collect everything from nutrients to fish from Harmon Creek. The students later learned a bit about running water samples for nutrient analyses in the Ulseth laboratory
Sabine taking gas samples in the field, Switzerland