Uconn Student is Outstanding Student Paper Award Recipient

Danielle Boshers, a graduate student with Julie Granger, received an Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) for her talk at the American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting. OSPAs are awarded to promote, recognize, and reward the top 3-5% of student presenters for quality research in the geophysical sciences. The topic of her presentation was Oxygen Isotope Composition of Nitrate Produced by Freshwater Nitrification.

SERDP 2016 Project-of-the-Year Award goes to two MSD faculty

Craig Tobias and Penny Vlahos win the SERDP 2016 Project-of-the-Year award for their work in studying the impact of munitions compounds in marine and estuarine ecosystems.

Read more about the project and the award here: https://serdp-estcp.org/News-and-Events/Blog/Tracking-the-Uptake-Translocation-Cycling-and-Metabolism-of-Munitions-Compounds-in-Coastal-Marine-Ecosystems-Using-Stable-Isotopic-Tracer.

Emily Seelen spending nine months in Sweden to study the bioavailability of methylmercury using a molecular approach

Emily Seelen, a graduate student with Robert Mason who has a NSF Graduate Fellowship, was recently awarded a GROW (Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide) fellowship to spend nine months working with Dr. Erik Björn at the University of Umeå in Sweden. Emily left in October to begin her study: “A molecular approach to understanding the bioavailability of methylmercury associated with various sources of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM)”. The focus is on coastal and oceanic DOM interaction with methylmercury, which has been studied very little relative to its interaction with other DOM pools. Emily’s research will involve the use of high resolution instrumentation to characterize the DOM and it’s methylmercury binding capacity including x-ray near edge adsorption structure spectroscopy, Orbitrap LC-MS, and other related approaches. Emily has been a NSF Graduate Fellow since July 2013.
Image: Emily extracting organic matter from water samples for her studies in Sweden.
seelen in lab

NOAA announces funding for research on sand lance

The Ocean & Atmospheric Research program (OAR) of NOAA and Sea Grant just announced the winners of its most recent round of research funding to better understand the consequences of ocean warming and acidification on key marine resources in U.S. Northeast coastal waters. Hannes Baumann and collaborators were happy and proud to learn that their proposed work on the climate sensitivity of Northern sand lance (Ammodytes dubius) was one of the four projects selected for funding. This is particularly good news for Chris Murray, who for his PhD can now expand his experimental rearing expertise to this important species.
This project will be conducted collaboratively with colleagues from NOAA (David Wiley), USGS (Page Valentine), Boston University (Les Kaufman), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Scott Gallager).

You can read the official announcement as it appeared on 6 September 2016 on NOAA’s News site

DMS graduate student Vena Haynes awarded EPA STAR Fellowship

Vena Haynes was recently awarded the EPA STAR Fellowship for her environmental toxicology research with Dr. J. Evan Ward. Vena is a PhD student in the UConn Marine Sciences program, where her research is focused on the effects of environmental pollutants on marine food webs. Manufactured nanomaterials are entering aquatic environments from product usage, industrial waste, and wastewater treatment plant effluents. Specifically, titanium dioxide nanoparticles found in consumer products, such as sunscreen and personal care products, can be toxic to organisms and its toxicity can increase with exposure to light. Very little research has been done on the effects of these nanoparticles in the marine environment with exposure to natural light. The objective of this project is to examine the effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on ecologically important food web grazers that inhabit coastal waters, using environmentally relevant experimental conditions. This work will aid in the development of safer nanomaterials and help predict impacts on grazer populations and organisms that rely on grazers for food (primarily fish).