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DR. LORA HARRIS

Dr. Harris is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, based at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. She is an estuarine ecologist who applies field and modeling approaches to address important questions regarding nutrient dynamics, primary production and ecosystem structure and function in a range of estuarine ecosystems. She is especially interested in how climate and management actions interact to affect water quality characteristics in estuaries and lagoons. Some of her most recent work involves collaboration with engineers to understand the restoration trajectories of hypoxic estuaries, and the contribution of wastewater to estuarine receiving waters. Dr. Harris works closely with state and regional agencies in both a research and advisory capacity.  She is committed to efforts that increase diversity in the geosciences as a founding principal investigator of Centro Tortuga, an institutional collaboration based in Puerto Rico that is focused on exposing first year undergraduates to the marine sciences. Dr. Harris is committed to community engagement in her work, and takes just as much satisfaction in talking about water quality to a Board of County Commissioners as she does in giving a talk at a scientific conference. She received her B.S. from Smith College and her Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island.  Dr. Harris moved to her faculty position in Maryland following a postdoctoral position at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.

CURRENT STUDENTS

JUAN ALVAREZ

Ph.D. Candidate

Juan is studying ecological drivers in bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico.  He is interested in understanding how the glowing alga grows and reacts to different conditions.  The strength of the luminescence changes through out the year, but the drivers of this change are not well understood. Juan hopes that his research can inform management and policy for the tourism industry that benefits from this unique species.

 jpalvarez@umces.edu

AIMEE NEELEY

Ph.D. Candidate

Aimee's research is focused on the underlying mechanisms that influence phytoplankton community dynamics in the Chukchi Sea, a shallow sea that lies between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. She is also evaluating the application of satellite algorithms to monitor changes phytoplankton community composition and phenology in response to Arctic warming and sea ice loss.

MELISSA DAY

M.S. Candidate

Melissa’s research involves the measurement of sediment nitrogen fluxes with a focus on denitrification rates in freshwater and saltwater wetlands along Parkers Creek, a sub-estuary to the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County, Maryland.  Her goal is to calculate a nitrogen budget for the creek, to quantify the role of tidal wetlands in mitigating nitrogen loads to the Chesapeake Bay.

day@umces.edu

ZACHARY GOTTHARDT

M.S. Candidate

Zack is examining the effects of oxygen on biogeochemical cycles in eutrophic estuaries, which normally are low in oxygen. He is interested in how photosynthesis and respiration rates change when oxygen is added through engineered aeration. His study site, Rock Creek of Pasadena, MD, has an aeration system that allows for comparative experiments.

 zgotthar@umces.edu

KEVIN  KAHOVER

M.S. Candidate

Kevin is building a high-resolution computer model that captures the various physical, ecological, and chemical processes that occur on restored oyster reefs.  This model will be used to assess the ability of restored oyster reefs to remove nitrogen from the overlying water column, as well as improve overall water quality.

kahover@umces.edu

CURRENT STAFF

MINDY FORSYTH

Faculty Research Assisstant

M.S. Environmental Science, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL)

B.S. Environmental Science, Virginia Tech

forsyth@umces.edu

ERIN REILLY

Faculty Research Assistant

M.S. Sustainable Environmental Resource Management, University of Malta

M.S. Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University

B.S. Biology & Marine Science, University of Miami

 ereilly@umces.edu

AMANDA MOORE

Research Technician

B.S. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland College Park

 

 

 

ISABEL SANCHEZ-VIRUET

Research Technician

B.S. Environmental Science, Universidad Metropolitana

 

 

 

HARRIS LAB ALUMNI

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Foley

Master of Science

2017

 

 

 

 

 

Casey Hodgkins

Faculty Research Assistant

2010 - 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Virginia Clark

Master of Science

2014

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Bryan

Master of Science

2014

 

 

 

 

Jake Kames

Research Technician

2012 - 2014

 

 

 

 

Matt Taylor

Research Technician

2013 - 2014

 

 

 

 

Meghann Niesen

Master of Science

2013

 

 

 

 

Katherine Davis

Master of Science

2012

 

 

 

 

Eric  Long

Research Technician

2011 - 2012

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Humphrey

Research Technician

2011

 

 

 

 

Annie Lerch

Research Technician

2009 - 2011

 

 

 

 

Deanna Hanks

Faculty Research Assistant

2008 - 2010

REU STUDENTS

Alexia Rodriguez - 2016

Peter Han - 2015

Jade Bowins - 2013

Yasiel Figueroa - 2012

Hilary Staver - 2011

Emily Gravens - 2011

Kelly Rooker - 2010

Laura Almodovar Acevedo - 2009

Keala Sato Cummings - 2008

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