Congratulations to Ximing and Josh on your Promotions

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We are happy to announce the DMCS promotions as follows:

Congratulations to Dr. Ximing Guo has been promoted to highest rank among faculty, Distinguished Professor. Ximing is a world leading shellfish scientist, who has made fundamental advances in shellfish genetics and aquaculture breeding. His research innovation in developing the most robust breed-able shellfish stocks on the planet has fundamentally altered marine aquaculture. In the last century, a devastating disease caused massive mortality of oysters along the mid-Atlantic Coast of North America.

As example of the destruction, in Delaware Bay, 90 to 95% of the oysters on cultivated leases died. In response, Rutgers scientists identified MSX disease as the culprit and initiated a research and breeding program to combat the outbreak. They quickly developed resistance, but the program suffered from a lack of funding and expertise in genetics and breeding leading to highly inbred and poorly performing lines. Dr. Guo restored the genetic integrity of the lines with a dedicated, highly successful shellfish breeding program. 

He has developed an extensive international program for research and teaching in shellfish aquaculture, genetics and breeding. His breeding program developed unique strains of triploid and tetraploid oysters for the aquaculture industry using a technology which he co-patented.  Professor Guo led the worldwide commercialization of Rutgers triploid oyster, which now is one of the dominant commercial strains on Earth. One of the external reviewers of his packet said “His research has been instrumental in organizing the basic conceptual understanding and practice in his field worldwide. His scholarship has been original, high quality, and impactful.

Congratulations to Dr. Josh Kohut who has been promoted Full Professor. He was recognized for his efforts on translating science-based research in a way that informs applications, decision-making, and management of ocean resources. Beyond his research and extension work, Josh has established a highly effective graduate and undergraduate teaching program with a specific focus on developing hands-on learning opportunities for the students. Josh’s scholarship is focused on how highly variable physical processes in the ocean structure coastal biology and chemistry.

Josh deployed the world’s first integrated High Frequency (HF) Radar network capable of continuously measuring ocean circulation along the northeast United States. This network is now the world’s largest nested HF network and has provided fundamental insights in the circulation of the continental shelves, the ocean transport of pollution, river inputs, distribution of fish larvae, and has reduced Coast Guard search by 70% during rescue missions. The radars have provided invaluable insights into the physical oceanography during extreme weather (Nor’Easters and Hurricanes) and the physical factors that regulate storm intensity at landfall.  Weather forecasters had made little progress in improving storm intensity forecasts in decades, but Josh helped discover critical previously underappreciated coastal circulation processes that influence the storm intensity at landfall. These insights are spurring a re-examination of the ocean models at the National Weather Service.

Josh also been a leader in been a leader in the use of underwater autonomous glider technology in the oceans. He and his students have documented how ocean warming in Antarctica and the associated ice melt are altering the upper ocean vertical mixing processes which are directly affecting phytoplankton growth, that in turn is influencing penguin foraging ecology. One external reviewer commented “Josh is an absolutely tremendous example of how quality scholarship can dovetail quite closely with solving societally and economically important questions.

Congratulations to Ximing and Josh!

Robert Chant Named Recipient of the Pritchard Award - Physical Oceanography Paper

Robert Chant

Pritchard Award - Physical Oceanography Paper

This award was established to honor Dr. Donald W. Pritchard, whose insightful research on the physical dynamics of coastal systems set the stage for much of the research in physical oceanography that is being conducted today. The Pritchard Award recognizes the author(s) of the best physical oceanography paper published in Estuaries and Coasts within the two-year interval between CERF conferences.

Robert J. Chant
Rutgers University

Christopher K. Sommerfield
University of Delaware

Stefan A. Talke
Portland State University

Paper: "Impact of channel deepening on tidal and gravitational circulation in a highly engineered estuarine basin"

Chant et al. assessed the influence of channel deepening on the estuarine exchange flow, stratification, and tidal amplitude. Estuaries worldwide have been deepened for navigation, with limited understanding of effects on water quality. Channel depth affects both barotropic and baroclinic dynamics, and ultimately water quality. They show how the estuarine response to channel deepening may not always be intuitive, and how analytical scaling and observational data can be used to test hypotheses in real systems.

The scaling of Hansen and Rattray (1965) indicates that estuarine circulation should increase with the depth cubed. However, Chant et al. note that increasing depth also increases salinity intrusion length,

thereby decreasing the along-estuary salinity gradient. In the scaling proposed by Chant et al., the decrease in salinity gradient offsets the depth increase, suggesting instead that estuarine circulation is independent of depth. Similarly, they show that the change in salinity intrusion predicts that stratification should decrease with depth rather than increasing. Using observational data, Chant et al. further show that estuary geometry can prevent landward salinity intrusion and thereby contradict their revised scaling. Their scaling offers a template to evaluate physical changes in other estuaries where the salinity gradient is less constrained by estuary geometry.

To read more about the CERF 2019 Scientific Award Recipients, click here for the original article.

Grace Saba Awarded Project for Ocean Acidification Monitoring on the U.S. Northeast Shelf

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Assistant Professor Grace Saba is looking forward to working with her collaborators on this new and exciting project observing ocean acidification on the U.S. Northeast Shelf from the Mid-Atlantic to the Gulf of Maine.

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Rutgers Distinguishes Itself with the Marine Technology Society

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The Marine Technology Society promotes awareness, understanding, and the advancement and application of marine technology. Incorporated in 1963, the international society brings together businesses, institutions, professionals, academics, and students who are ocean engineers, technologists, policy makers, and educators. It is a leading authority and advocate for marine technology and resources while promoting public understanding of the ocean. Each year it recognizes outstanding individuals through their annual awards. Rutgers was well-represented in this year’s awards.

Congratulations to Josh Kohut (Professor), who was named a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society.  He was recognized for fundamental contributions in the development of novel technologies that are allowing us to sample marine systems.  Josh has been at the forefront of the deployment and operation of a range of technologies that are helping science, health & human safety at sea, as well supporting sustainable fishery management. 

Josh Kohut

Congratulations to Sarah Murphy (graduate student) who is a 2019 recipient of an MTS Student Scholarship for Graduate Students. Her research is focused on the interaction of coastal ocean and atmospheric processes and their influence on offshore wind power production. She is utilizing the new geostationary satellite GOES-R and the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model, to understand the impact of rapidly evolving SST fields on wind speeds at wind turbine hub height.

Sarah Murphy

Congratulations to Jessica Valenti (graduate student) who is a 2019 recipient of a MTS Student Scholarship for Graduate Students. Her research involves assessing impacts of urbanization (anthropogenic land development) on estuarine fishes and relies heavily on marine technology for success. The technologies she uses to complete the fieldwork portion (fish collection) of her research span the gamut from the boat motor and GPS that make it possible to navigate shallow, estuarine waters to be sampled with the Yellow Springs Instrument (YSI).

Jessica Valenti

Congratulations to Julia Engdahl (Operational Oceanography Masters student) who was awarded the Paros-Digiquartz Scholarship towards her studies. 

Julia Engdahl