Principal Investigator:

Dr. Amber J. Ulseth

Assistant Professor 

Department of Biological Sciences 

Sam Houston State University


Postdoctoral training:  

Contact information:  email:  aju005 <at>, office:  +1 936 294 4212

X (formerly Twitter) @RioFluss

The focus of Amber's research is on ecosystem ecology and biogeochemical cycling in freshwaters.  Freshwater is one of society's most important resources; however, our sources of freshwater are threatened by a variety of anthropogenic activities from urbanization, eutrophication, and damming, which can all be confounded by climate change.  In light of global change, it is key to understand how these stressors potentially alter ecosystem processes in order to predict and mitigate these threats to our freshwater ecosystems.  Mainly, the research focus is to understand how streams and rivers transform, store and export carbon and nutrients.  Amber is interested in the interaction of abiotic forcing, such as changes in hydrology, and biotic drivers (from microorganisms to people) on biogeochemical cycling in fluvial freshwaters.

Graduate Student (MS):

Max Lannom

Max joined the lab in 2022 as a MS student and is co-advised by Dr. Aaron Lynne.  Max graduated from SHSU in 2021 with a BS in Biology.  For his MS thesis research, he is working on the diversity of the microbiome of Harmon Creek!  Max also keeps busy teaching Ecology Labs. 

Graduate Student (MS)

Hasara Siriwardane

Hasara joined the lab in August 2023.  She hails from Sri Lanka and is interested in sediment fluxes and ecosystem metabolism.  Hasara also teaches General Biology Labs.  

Welcome Hasara!

(W)undergrad Student:

Sadé Taylor

Sadé is an Environmental Science major at SHSU and joined the lab in Fall of 2022.  She is interested in environmental justice and learning more about streams and rivers!

Former Lab Members

Connor Brown (MS)

Connor joined the lab in 2019 as MS student working on ecosystem metabolism across Texas Coastal Plain Streams.  He successfully defended his thesis in March 2022.  Connor is currently a PhD student at the University of Kansas working on drying streams and rivers.  We miss him but love seeing him at conferences!

Tyler Clay

Tyler was part of the team collecting data from Harmon Creek in support of our sensor data along with analyzing data from our Coastal Texas Streams.  Tyler graduated in 2022.  Congrats Tyler!

Katrina Stephen

Katrina joined the lab Spring 2021 and was instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the lab and field. Along with Makayla Mcilhaney, Katrina worked on our sensor station located in Harmon Creek and was funded by COSET. Katrina graduated in Fall of 2021 and is aiming for medical school. Congrats Katrina!

Elizabeth Cruz

Elizabeth join the lab in Fall of 2021 to learn how stream ecology is conducted as part of her Ecology class Honor's contract. Elizabeth graduated and is aiming to attend optometry school. Congrats Elizabeth!

Makayla Mcilhaney

Makayla is an Environmental Science major at SHSU. Makayla was part of the research team in Spring - Summer and part of fall 2021 sensor station team funded by COSET. We wish her the best on her next endeavors!

Griffith Kubicki

Griffith was an Environmental Science major at SHSU and helped us out with lab work and field work at the SHSU field station in 2021. He has left SHSU and we wish him luck on his future adventures!

Naomi Smith-Wade

Naomi was a Biology major at SHSU and helped us out with our NSF funded Coastal Plain stream and local work from 2020-2021. She had set her sites elsewhere for some time from SHSU. We wish her all the luck on her next endeavors!

Cristel Perez Castillo

Cristel was a Biology major at SHSU slated to graduate summer 2021. She worked in the lab with water samples from our Harmon Creek sensor station. 

Dani Gray

Dani graduated with a Biology degree in Spring 2021. Dani was instrumental in helping with field work in our Texas Coastal Stream sites (besides being a stellar Ecology Lab TA). Dani is currently in graduate school at Texas A&M University. Congrats Dani!

Makayla Malveaux

Makayla worked on leaf decomposition in Harmon Creek. She graduated in Spring 2021 and is off to Baylor College of Medicine Post-Baccalaureate in Biomedical Sciences and Health Equity program. Congrats Makayla!

Eli (Maria) Maguire

Eli graduated Fall 2020. While she worked with us, she focused on quantifying autotrophic biomass in local streams in Huntsville.

Noah Parmely

Noah graduated in Spring 2020 with a major in Biology & minor in Chemistry. Noah worked on dissolved organic matter and nutrient dynamics in our local Huntsville urban streams. Noah is now off to Medical School and we wish him all the best!

Kaitlyn Blankey

Katie was a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student at SHSU during summer 2022. Katie is a student at Eastern University (Pennsylvania).  Katie learned R and how to model ecosystem metabolism in Harmon Creek.

Danielle Grabert

Danielle was a Biology major at SHSU and started working with us during Fall 2021. She worked on collecting data to quantify the metabolic regime of Harmon Creek and then also included sampling an agriculture and an urban stream for comparison. Dani graduated in Spring 2023.  We wish her the best on her next endeavours!

Marlyn Hernandez

Marlyn was a biomedical major within the Biology department and joined our research group Summer of 2021. She worked on both local and coastal stream projects, eventually focusing on dissolved organic carbon dynamics. Marlyn graduated in spring 2023 and plans to pursue a career in the field of medicine! 

Christian Lewis

Christian was an environmental science major and started working in the lab during the Spring 2022 semester.  He focused on leaf decomposition.  Christian graduated in spring 2023 and plans to explore career options in the field of environmental science.

Cinthia Lopez

Cinthia was a biomedical major within the Department of Biological Sciences at SHSU. She started working in the lab getting in spring 2022 and studied nutrient limitation in streams. Cinthia graduted in summer 2023 and plans to pursue PA school.