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Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Topics and Mentors

student with poster

Learn about the research topics studied by students participating in Maryland Sea Grant's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Mentors study a number of topics listed below. Click on a mentor's name for more information:

  • His or her expertise, education, and contact information.
  • A list of students that the mentor has advised and abstracts of the students' research projects.

These mentors have already committed to hosting an REU in summer 2020:

Helen Bailey, Michael Gonsior, Lora Harris, Sairah Malkin, William Nardin, James Pierson, Louis Plough, Chris Rowe, Jeremy Testa, Ryan Woodland

Benthic Environment

Research covers sedimentation processes and interactions with sediment-dwelling organisms and others that reside on the bottom for part or all of their life histories.

Climate Change

Documenting and investigating changes in hurricane activity, climate variability, and decadal- to century-scale trends using biogeochemistry of natural systems influenced by climate and numerical modeling.


Research addresses a diverse array of pollutants and processes that occur in the Bay using chemical, genetic, and physiological assessment.

Coastal Observing Systems

Research in developing new coastal sensor technologies for marine science and developing observing systems.

Environmental Chemistry

Genetics, chemical transformations, biogeochemistry, and nutrient cycling in the Chesapeake underlie the high productivity of the system and are an important focus of research.

Coastal and Estuarine Processes

Linkages of physical conditions, nutrient inputs, plankton production, and fish yields are under study in both observational and modeling programs.


Recruitment, habitat, and stock assessment for managing important commercial fish populations are active areas of research. Other areas include aquatic species conservation.

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Research focuses on aquatic microbial ecology, microbial food webs, microbial cycling, composition and activity of natural microbial communities. Researchers use molecular and genomic approaches (rRNA, DNA, bioinformatics) to study aquatic microbes and quantify genetic abundance/expression.

Modeling and Analysis

Mathematical constructs and data analysis, including ecosystem models and remotely sensed data, are used to develop predictive tools on the function of Chesapeake Bay.

Physical Oceanography

Focus is on physical structure of the Chesapeake, including sediment distribution and transport, circulation, stratification, and small-scale processes.

Previous Mentors

Below is a list of mentors who have previously hosted REU students, but are either no longer at one of the participating laboratories or not available to mentor new students.