Author: Manning, Cara

Summary of Summer/Fall 2023 Departmental Achievements

Check out a summary of some of the achievements in our department in summer and fall 2023 below!


*identify students


Professor Ann Bucklin and Paola Batta Lona

Population genetic analysis reveals distinct demographic histories of two Arctic euphausiid species and their responses to ecological drivers affecting communities in the Arctic Ocean.

Bucklin, A., Questel, J.M., Batta-Lona, P.G. et al. Population genetic diversity and structure of the euphausiids Thysanoessa inermis and T. raschii in the Arctic Ocean: inferences from COI barcodes. Mar. Biodivers. 53, 70 (2023).


Professor Hans Dam

This study led by alumni James deMayo, shows the limits to adaptation to the ongoing ocean warming and acidification. Animals adapted to these conditions are less fit than animals adapted to current conditions. Hence, there is no free lunch to adaptation to climate change.

deMayo James A.*, Brennan Reid S., Pespeni Melissa H., Finiguerra Michael, Norton Lydia, Park Gihong, Baumann Hannes and Dam Hans G. 2023Simultaneous warming and acidification limit population fitness and reveal phenotype costs for a marine copepod. Proc. R. Soc. B.2902023103320231033.


Professor Heidi Dierssen:

NASA plans to launch three new missions for monitoring aquatic ecosystems from space: PACE in 2024, Geostationary Littoral Imaging Radiometer in 2026, and SBG in 2028. Each mission monitors unique space and time scales from inland water quality to coastal seagrass habitats to upwelling zones supporting rich phytoplankton blooms. Having many more wavebands than historic sensors, these missions will allow us for the first time to monitor phytoplankton diversity from space. Dr. Dierssen serves as the Science and Applications Team Leader for the PACE mission and is on the mission team for the SBG mission.

Dierssen et al. 2023.  “Synergies Between NASA’s Hyperspectral Aquatic Missions PACE, GLIMR, and SBG: Opportunities for New Science and Applications”.  Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences,

128, e2023JG007574.


Several spectral indices have been proposed in the last decade for remote detection of macroplastics in the environment, however no comprehensive analysis has been provided on the over land and water. Published and new algorithms proposed in this study were evaluated on hyperspectral remote sensing imagery taken over plastic targets in Ostend, Belgium.  Dr. Dierssen developed and worked on this study as a Fulbright scholar to Belgium.

Castagna, Dierssen, et al. 2023. “Evaluation of historic and new detection algorithms for different types of plastics over land and water from hyperspectral data and imagery” Remote Sensing of the Environment.


Professor Senjie Lin: 

In an opinion piece, Lin analyzed the complexity of how phosphorus-nutrient limitation interacts with ocean acidification in impacting phytoplankton, the foundation of the marine ecosystem. He further brought forth a suite of fundamental research questions that need to be addressed and proposed several multi-disciplinary multi-platform approaches that need to be deployed to address these questions. 

Lin, S. Phosphate limitation and ocean acidification co-shape phytoplankton physiology and community structure. Nat Commun 14, 2699 (2023).


Professor David Lund: 

This paper indicates that weakening of the Atlantic overturning circulation regularly occurs when the Earth transitions from glacial to interglacial conditions (i.e. deglaciations).  Graduate student Monica Garity’s results suggest weakening of the Atlantic circulation plays a key role in deglaciation, most likely through accumulation of heat in the subsurface North Atlantic and subsequent melting of ice shelves.  

Multi-proxy evidence for Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)  weakening during deglaciations of the past 150,000 years

Monica Garity and David Lund

Accepted in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology

Professors Rob Mason, Penny Vlahos, Michael Whitney, and Zofia Baumann:

The study, conducted while Maodian Liu was a visiting scientist at DMS, identified the importance of the river plume as a hot spot of methylmercury production in Long Island Sound. This finding is significant because methylmercury is toxic and bioaccumulative, and understanding its biogeochemical cycling is essential for public health management. The studies were conducted in conjunction with studies of carbon and nutrient dynamics in LIS (Vlahos and Whitney’s funded research).      

“Riverine Discharge Fuels the Production of Methylmercury in a Large Temperate Estuary” Maodian Liu, Robert P. Mason, Penny Vlahos, Michael M. Whitney, Qianru Zhang, Joseph K. Warren, Xuejun Wang, Zofia Baumann. Environmental Science & Technology 2023 Vol. 57 Issue 35 Pages 13056-13066 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c00473


Professors Rob Mason and Zofia Baumann:

This research highlighted the importance of the reduced sulfur content of organic matter in influencing the binding of methylmercury to dissolved organic matter and to influencing its bioaccumulation at the base of the aquatic food chain. The work was led by alumni Emily Seelen.     

Seelen, E.A.*, Liem-Nguyen, V., Wünsch, U., Baumann, Z., Mason, R.P., Skyllberg, U., Björn, E. 2023.. Dissolved organic matter thiol concentrations determine methylmercury bioavailability across the terrestrial-marine aquatic continuum. Nat Commun 14, 6728.


Professor Rob Mason: 

During cruises in 2021 in the Arctic, Marissa determined the relationship between nitrification in the water column and mercury methylation as this is an unexplored pathway for the production of methylmercury in ocean waters. Her studies showed that nitrification bacteria could be important for mercury methylation.         

Despins, M.C., Mason, R.P., Aguilar-Islas, Lamborg, C.H., Hammerschmidt, C.R., Newell, S.E. 2023. Linked mercury methylation and nitrification across the oxic sub-polar regions. Frontiers in Environ. Chem., 4: DOI: 10.3389/fenvc.2023.1109537.


This chapter in the book highlighted the importance of sources and cycling of inorganic and organic contaminants in impacting human and wildlife health.  

Chen, C.Y., Mason, R.P., Lohmann, R., Muir, D. 2023. Chemical pollution and the ocean. In: Oceans and Human Health: Opportunities and Impacts, 2nd Ed.,, Fleming, L.E. et al. (Eds.), Chapter 13, Elsevier, 351-426.


Mason, R.P., Buckman, K.L., Seelen, E.A., Taylor, V.T., Chen, C.Y. 2023. An examination of the factors influencing the bioaccumulation of methylmercury at the base of the estuarine food web. Sci. Tot, Environ.  866: Art. # 163996.


Professor Jim O’Donnell: 

Knowing the height and period of waves at the shore of Connecticut during major storms is central to the cost-effective design of coastal flood protection systems. We have made measurements of waves for almost 20 years at two locations in Long Island Sound (WLIS and CLIS) in the deeper parts of the Sound, so we need a model to create estimates at the coast. This paper, led by alumni Amin Illia, describes our implementation of FVCOM and SWAVE to do that, and it reports how well it works and what we need to do to improve it.  

Ilia, Amin*, Alejandro Cifuentes-Lorenzen, Grant McCardell, and James O’Donnell. 2023. “Wind Wave Growth and Dissipation in a Narrow, Fetch-Limited Estuary: Long Island Sound” Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 11, no. 8: 1579.


Professor Samantha Siedlecki: 

Over the past 10 years, Siedlecki and her team have developed a seasonal ocean prediction system, JISAO’s Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem (J-SCOPE), for the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. The results of this work include publicly available seasonal forecasts of ocean acidification variables, hypoxia, temperature, and ecological indicators that are tailored for decision-makers involved in federal, international, state, and tribal fisheries that have been used to inform decisions. This work provides a retrospective look at the first 10 years of forecasting. 


Siedlecki, S.A., S.R. Alin, E.L. Norton, N.A. Bond, A.J. Hermann, R.A. Feely, and J.A. Newton. Can seasonal forecasts of ocean conditions aid fishery managers?:  Experiences from 10 years of J SCOPE. Oceanography.  2023.

Professor Pieter Visscher:

The Bernhard paper investigated the role of biology in Earth’s oldest fossils (2.3 to 3.5 billion year old), using modern analogs. The Bernhard et al. paper discovered new species of protists that shape the internal fabric microbial rocks. This work the was co-authored by one DMS undergraduate (Luke Fisher), two DMS MS students (Quinne Murphy, Heidi Yeh) and two other DMS faculty (Paola Batta Lona and Ann Bucklin)


Bernhard, J.M., L.A. Fisher, Q. Murphy*, L. Sen, H. Yeh*, A.S. Louyakis, F. Gomaa, M. Reilly, P.G. Batta Lona, A. Bucklin, V. Le Roux, P.T. Visscher 2023. Transition from stromatolite to thrombolite fabric: Potential role for reticulopodial protists in lake microbialites of a Proterozoic ecosystem analog. Frontiers in Microbiology 30, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1210781


The paper first authored by Marlisa Marthino de Brito is about understanding whiting events (production of small carbonate minerals) in lakes. Often, these CO2-consuming mass events are predicted based on the chemical composition of the water column (the alkalinity) but are not observed because the picoplankton “slime” scavenges the calcium from the water and inhibits the mineral production. This slime is later degraded by microbes at the sediment surface and minerals are formed there . This has implications for satellite estimations of carbon sequestration in lakes. Marlisa defended her PhD on September 27, at the Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté in Dijon, France. Pf. Visscher was her major advisor.


Martinho de Brito, M., I. Bundeleva, F. Marin, E. Vennin, A. Wilmotte, L. Plasseraud, P.T. Visscher. 2023. Properties of exopolymeric substances (EPSs) produced during cyanobacterial growth: Potential role in whiting events. Biogeosciences 20:3165–3183,


Professor Penny Vlahos: 

For the first time, the contribution of sedimentary fluxes to carbon and nutrient cycling in the shallow Pacific Arctic region was empirically quantified; carbon and nutrient effluxes from sediments were shown to be greatest in ice-free waters with high rates of surface productivity.


Barrett, L. J.*, Vlahos, P., Hammond, D. E., & Mason, R. P. (2023). Sediment-water fluxes of inorganic carbon and nutrients in the Pacific Arctic during the sea ice melt season. Continental Shelf Research, 105116.


Professor Evan Ward: 

Blue mussels were exposed to nylon microfibers, a particle control, or non-particle control for 21 days, but these exposures did not show any effects on the mussel gut microbiome or gut tissues.  Please find here: 

Collins, H.I.*, Griffin, T.W.*, Holohan, B.A., & Ward, J.E. (2023) Nylon microfibers develop a distinct plastisphere but have no apparent effects on the gut microbiome or gut tissue status in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Environmental Microbiology, 1-15. Available from:


Voiding feces (depuration) is an important factor that determines the community structure of gut microbiomes from blue mussels.

Griffin, T.W.*, Darsan, M.A., Collins, H.I.*, Holohan, B.A., Pierce, M.L., & Ward, J.E. (2023). A multi-study analysis of gut microbiome data from the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) emphasises the impact of depuration on biological interpretation. Environmental Microbiology, 1-15.


Professor Ward and Sandra Shumway

A critical assessment of microplastics in molluscan shellfish with recommendations for experimental protocols, animal husbandry, publication, and future research

Sandra E. Shumway, Kayla Mladinich*, Noreen Blaschik, Bridget Holohan and J. Evan Ward. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture  2023. Open Access until March 1, 2024



Professor Heidi Dierssen:

Dr. Dierssen was awarded a new NASA Interdisciplinary Science grant $1.7M to study phytoplankton, carbon, and sea ice dynamics in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region of the Southern Ocean with colleagues from Rutgers University, University of Colorado, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Professor Rob Mason: 

NSF Chemical Oceanography. 9/1/2023-8/31/2026. Mason, sole PI. Constraining the air-sea exchange of inorganic and methylated mercury with high resolution spatial and temporal measurements in the Sargasso Sea. $680,675.


Professor Leonel Romero

The Air-Sea Interaction Laboratory received a $712,215 grant from NSF to conduct novel measurements of breaking waves in the open ocean using stereo imagery from visible and infrared cameras. The results of this study will contribute greatly to our understanding of wave breaking with important implications for air-sea exchanges, remote sensing, and the prediction of microseisms.


Professor Samantha Siedlecki:

A new award to study coastal terrestrial liming as a potential method of mCDR via ocean alkalinity enhancement with a holistic program to monitor the carbon chemistry of a small coastal lagoon before and after the application of calcitic limestone on the surface of an abutting golf course. This work is a part of a larger investment that the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program on behalf of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) announces $24.3M of funding to advance research in marine carbon dioxide removal. 


NOPP (2023-2026) mCDR 2023: An opportunity to study Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement, CDR, and ecosystem impacts through coastal liming (PI: Palter, URI) Total $1,538,451.52 ($300,540 to UConn)



Congratulations to graduate student Mengyang Zhou was awarded the CERF (Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation) Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society) Scholar 2023. This award provides valuable support for attending conferences and fostering career development in the field of coastal and estuarine science and management. 


Congratulations to Mengyang Zhou on receiving the best poster award at the recent Gordon Research Conference on Coastal Ocean Dynamics in June of 2023. His poster entitled “Constraints on the bottom water residence time in an economically-important embayment of the Southern Benguela Upwelling System” is work that is part of an NSF-funded project led by Pf. Julie Granger and Pf. Samantha Siedlecki in partnership with colleagues at the University of Capetown. Mengyang ran a series of particle tracking experiments in a high-resolution simulation to quantify the residence time of bottom waters plagued with hypoxia. Interannually, years with short bottom water residence time experienced little hypoxia. This work is part of his Ph.D. dissertation research with Pf. Julie Granger.


Our PhD student Anagha Payyambally was featured in UConn Today to celebrate her achievement of receiving the Quad Fellowship. Anagha is one of only 100 recipients out of over 3000 applicants to receive this fellowship to her graduate studies. This new fellowship program supports exceptional students who are citizens of the United States, Australia, India, and Japan to support their graduate studies in the United States and build collaboration among scientists and technologists.  Read the story here with quotes from Anagha and her advisor Dr. Manning. 


Congratulations to Brendon Goulette, an undergraduate student in our department who was awarded a Connecticut Sea Grant Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the work he is doing with Professors Catherine Matassa and Samantha Siedlecki and PhD student Halle Berger. Brendon is researching how climate change is affecting sea scallops, a significant commercial fishery in New England.

Read more about Brendon’s research here!


PhD student Anagha Payyambally featured in UConn Today

Our PhD student Anagha Payyambally was featured in UConn Today to celebrate her achievement of receiving the Quad Fellowship. Anagha is one of only 100 recipients out of over 3000 applicants to receive this fellowship to her graduate studies. This new fellowship program supports exceptional students who are citizens of the United States, Australia, India, and Japan to support their graduate studies in the United States and build collaboration among scientists and technologists.

Read the story here with quotes from Anagha and her advisor Dr. Manning. Congratulations, Anagha!


Brendon Goulette awarded Connecticut Sea Grant Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Brendon Goulette, an undergraduate student in our department who was awarded a Connecticut Sea Grant Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the work he is doing with Professors Catherine Matassa and Samantha Siedlecki and PhD student Halle Berger. Brendon is researching how climate change is affecting sea scallops, a significant commercial fishery in New England.
Caption: Brendon Goulette measures scallop shells in Samantha Siedlecki’s lab at the UConn Avery Point campus. 

Professor Siedlecki awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Professor Samantha Siedlecki who was recently awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor from the University of Connecticut! We are so proud to have Prof. Siedlecki as a member of our department and to see her awarded tenure.

Professor Siedlecki has been a highly valued member of our department since her arrival at UConn in 2017 and has played many leadership roles in our department and the broader scientific community. Dr. Siedlecki’s research group focuses on coastal biogeochemistry using a combination of simulations and observations to characterize historical and ongoing change and forecast future trends. A particular focus of her group’s work is on coastal carbon and oxygen cycling, including the impacts of decreasing ocean pH (ocean acidification) and decreasing oxygen (deoxygenation) resulting from climate change and other human impacts.

Her research accomplishments have been recognized through an Early Career Faculty Innovators Program Fellowship from NCAR and a Kavli Fellowship from the US National Academy of Sciences. Since her arrival at UConn, she has received approximately 16 grants totalling over $4 million in funding from organizations including NOAA and NSF, including serving as co-lead PI on a $1 million grant on assessing the vulnerability of sea scallops to ongoing ocean change. 

Her teaching contributions have included developing two new courses, Ocean Expedition (a very popular course for our graduate students) and Biogeochemical Modeling, and teaching Environmental Reaction and Transport, a course that allows undergraduate students to develop their quantitative and problem solving skills. She has mentored numerous personnel in the department, and currently supervises two PhD students, one masters student, one research associate, one research scientist, and multiple undergraduate students.

Dr. Siedlecki has been highly active in departmental service, having served on several departmental committees, including the Advisory Committee to the Head, and was a founding member of the department’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. She was recognized with a Climate, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award from the UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2022 due to her contributions to fostering an inclusive climate in our department and at UConn.

Outside of UConn, she has had substantial contributions to research organizations and activities at the regional, national and international level, including serving as co-coordinator for the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN) and serving as a member of the international scientific committee for the 5th International Symposium on Oceans in a High CO2 World, and also gave an invited plenary presentation at this conference. Dr. Siedlecki makes stakeholder engagement and outreach critical components of her research program and has participated in numerous outreach activities with members of the aquaculture industry and management organizations along with members of her research group. 

Dr. Siedlecki has co-authored approximately 36 publications and some of her recent publications are listed below.

Now that she has been awarded tenure, Prof. Siedlecki looks forward to finalizing her group’s work with east coast coastal communities through a regional vulnerability assessment of scallops and the communities who rely on them. She plans to conduct similar assessments in other regions with the international research community and is currently preparing a proposal with South African colleagues.

Congratulations to Dr. Siedlecki! We are excited to watch the future accomplishments by you and your team!

Recent publications:

Seasonality and life history complexity determine vulnerability of Dungeness crab to multiple climate stressors” by Berger et al. (2021) in AGU Advances. This paper was led by Siedlecki lab graduate student Halle Berger.

Coastal processes modify projections of some climate-driven stressors in the California Current System” by Siedlecki et al. (2021) in Biogeosciences.

Projecting ocean acidification impacts for the Gulf of Maine to 2050: New tools and expectations” by Siedlecki et al. (2021) in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

Prof. Siedlecki at the Avery Point campus


Prof. Siedlecki and PhD student Halle Berger in Norway following a research conference.


Prof. Siedlecki on the R/V Connecticut during the Oceanographic Expedition graduate course in 2022

Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Myer, PhD!

Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Myer, the department’s newest PhD! Here is a description and some photos of Dr. Myer’s PhD journey, in her own words.

My Ph.D. dissertation defense was on March 20th, 2023, and titled “A Critical Examination of the Factors Controlling Methylmercury Uptake into Marine Plankton.”

I am a student in Dr. Robert Mason’s group and my research includes a three-year long time series of methylmercury in phytoplankton in Narragansett Bay, RI, a research cruise in the Northwest Pacific (NOAA GU1905), and laboratory uptake experiments with the dinoflagellate O. marina.

The goal of these projects was ultimately to compare the effects of biological and environmental variables (e.g., cell size, temperature, dissolved organic matter) between laboratory experiments and environmental studies to try to disentangle the leading drivers of methylmercury accumulation into plankton. The main takeaway is that relationships seen in laboratory experiments, both from my work and the literature, are not nearly as straightforward in the environment. There is a lot more work to be done to understand these complex relationships.

Currently, I have one publication from my prior undergraduate work ( and one from my work in the Mason lab that is not part of my dissertation ( I am currently preparing three papers relating to my dissertation for publication.

This work was funded by NSF Chemical Oceanography and the UConn Predoctoral Award.

Myer on the GU1905 cruise with a portable fume hood for processing methylmercury samples into particulate and dissolved fractions – October 2019


Myer presenting in Krakow, Poland at the International Conference for Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) – September 2019

Kayla Mladinich Poole receives R. LeRoy Creswell Award for Outreach and Education

Kayla Mladinich Poole, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Marine Sciences, was awarded the R. LeRoy Creswell Award for Outreach and Education through the National Shellfisheries Association (NSA). Kayla was selected for her extensive communications and outreach experience with the public and in STEM, as well as for her work as an active volunteer at the annual NSA conferences. Kayla is the first recipient of the award created to honor R. LeRoy Creswell’s life and impressive work in outreach and extension services. Congratulations, Kayla!


Kayla and Prof. Evan Ward collecting samples in the field
Kayla analyzing samples in the lab

Anagha Payyambally awarded Quad Fellowship

Congratulations to Anagha Payyambally, a PhD student in Professor Cara Manning’s research group, who has been selected as part of the inaugural class of Quad Fellows. Anagha is one of 100 recipients out of over 3200 applicants across all STEM fields to be selected for this fellowship, which is administered by Schmidt Futures (a philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt). The rigorous selection process involved a written application, reference letters, and two interviews, and was designed to assess candidates’ academic excellence, intellectual rigor, interest in the intersection of STEM and society, capacity to bridge differences, and orientation towards results.Here is some info on the award, from Quad:
“This program sponsors 100 exceptional American, Japanese, Australian, and Indian master’s and doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to study in the United States. The fellowship develops a network of science and technology experts committed to advancing innovation and collaboration in the private, public, and academic sectors, in their own nations and among Quad countries. The program builds foundational understanding among Quad Fellows of one another’s societies and cultures through cohort-wide trips and robust programming with each country’s top scientists, technologists, and politicians.”

The next application for Quad Fellows is expected to open in November 2023.

Mary McGuinness completes MSc on alkalinity in Long Island Sound embayments

Congratulations to Mary McGuinness who presented her MSc thesis research on alkalinity in Long Island Sound embayments on November 17, 2022.  Mary was advised by Dr. Penny Vlahos. Below is a description written by Mary about her research at UConn and her accomplishments during her degree. Check out the photos of her field work, too! Congratulations, Mary, and best wishes for the future!

I came to UConn in June 2020 after receiving the Crandall Fellowship for my commitment to diversity enhancement in higher education and science during my time as a undergraduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. While working on the Alkalinity of Long Island Sound Embayments (ALISE) project I was able to conduct field work across the Long Island Sound and help close the gap for alkalinity and inorganic carbon data in these rivers. Over a two year study I observed spatial trends for alkalinity across the Long Island Sound rivers, at their freshwater endmembers and detected help levels of acidification sensitivity. Lastly I produced an attributive model that indicated importance differences between the eastern and western Long Island Sound and presented novel controlling parameters which can be tested with the collection of further data to help fully resolve this system.

I was able to present my work virtually the Ocean Sciences Meeting (2022) and in person at the Long Island Sound Conference (2022) and Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference (SETAC) (2022). At the SETAC Conference I was presented with the best Oral Presentation Award.


Mary sampling on the Connecticut River


Filtering for dissolved organic carbon at the Thames River


Collecting data in the Thames River with labmate Lauren Barrett


Finishing a day of data collection at the Housatonic River


Dr. Lingjie Zhou defends PhD on quantifying phytoplankton carbon biomass using DNA

Congratulations to Dr. Lingjie Zhou on her Ph.D. defense. Check out Dr. Zhou’s description of her Ph.D. journey and accomplishments below. We are wishing Dr. Zhou all the best for her future career!

I defended my Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Estimate phytoplankton carbon biomass using DNA” on Nov. 15th, 2022. My Ph.D. research was aimed at establishing the correlations among the cellular contents of DNA, C, and rDNA in phytoplankton and I measured these parameters for 11 species spanning major algal lineages at different growth stages and under different growth conditions. The correlations would enable oceanographers to determine the species composition and species-specific carbon biomass in the phytoplankton community simultaneously. Throughout the Ph. D. study period, I gave presentations at conferences, including the Northeast Algal Symposium, Phycological Society of America, ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, and Feng Graduate Research Colloquium. I have published several papers as co-author (listed below), and I’m still working on my own papers now. I have received the Student Research Award from the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department of the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History in 2019 as well as several summer research awards from the Department of Marine Sciences at UConn.

Nanjing Ji, Jinwang Huang, Zhenzhen Zhang, Lingjie Zhou, Xin Shen, Senjie Lin, Identification and expression analysis of meiosis-related genes in the harmful alga Heterosigma akashiwo (Raphidophyceae). Harmful Algae, 2020, 92, 101736, ISSN 1568-9883,

Nanjing Ji, Zhenzhen Zhang, Jinwang Huang, Lingjie Zhou, Shengxian Deng, Xin Shen, Senjie Lin. Utilization of various forms of nitrogen and expression regulation of transporters in the harmful alga Heterosigma akashiwo (Raphidophyceae). Harmful Algae, 2020, 92, 101770, ISSN 1568-9883,

Chuner Cai, Feng Liu, Ting Jiang, Lingke Wang, Rui Jia, Lingjie Zhou, Kai Gu, Jianfeng Ren, Peimin He. Comparative study on mitogenomes of green tide algae. Genetica, 2018, 146(6): 529–540,

Zhou at the 56th Northeast Algal Symposium in April 2017


Dr. Zhou at her PhD defense


Zhou at the ASLO 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in February 2019


Zhou working in the Lin lab

Annette Carlson presents master’s thesis on oxygen and nutrient cycling in St. Helena Bay

Congratulations to Annette Carlson, who presented her master’s thesis on November 9, 2022. Annette‘s thesis was entitled “Quantifying interannual variability of shelf nutrients and associated hypoxia in St. Helena Bay with new metrics and tools” and she was advised by Professor Samantha Siedlecki.  St. Helena Bay is located in the Southern Benguela Upwelling System off the coast of South Africa. During her master’s, Annette traveled to South Africa to work with collaborators at the University of Cape Town and gain experience collecting water samples, and analyzed an existing dataset to characterize and develop mechanistic understanding of the variability in nutrients and oxygen in this dynamic upwelling region.

Annette also presented a webinar on her thesis work to the Global Ocean Oxygen Network in October 2022, which is available on YouTube, and she participated in several conferences.

CongratulationsAnnette, and best wishes in your future career!

Carlson’s thesis was funded by the US National Science Foundation through a grant to Dr. Samantha Siedlecki and Dr. Julie Granger.

Annette Carlson and colleagues (Raquel Flynn (left), Sina Wallschuss (right)) sampling for oxygen and nutrients in False Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo credit: Pieter Truter.