Research projects specifically designed for REU students.


Barbara Bellows, Ph.D.

Research interests: sustainable landscape management

Students working with Dr. Bellows will (1) assess impacts of managed grazing practices on the transition of pastures to prairies, (2) assess impacts of soil management and soil quality characteristics on nitrogen and phosphorus transport, and (3) analyze the impacts of land use changes on soil and water characteristics across various spatial scales.


Joree Burnett, M.S.

Research Interests: Stream assessment, Geomorphology

Student working with Ms. Burnett will (1) conduct a stream assessment study of the Colorado River to determine flow, habitat, water quality, and morphometrics of the stream, (2) evaluate erosional features surrounding the river to determine rate and volume of erosion that contributes sediment to the stream.


Robert Cavazos, Ph.D.

Research interests: environmental policy, geospatial analyses

Students working with Dr. Cavazos will (1) examine the history surrounding the proposed dam and build an opposition plan, (2) use GIS to determine the buffer impacts of ephemeral watersheds and the sociological impacts they impose, and (3) assess water consumption and the politics surrounding water scarcity.


Victoria Chraibi, Ph.D.

Research interests: aquatic ecology, water resources science

Students working with Dr. Chraibi will (1) conduct a biodiversity assessment of algae and zooplankton in the Colorado River, (2) monitor an in-situ mesocosm experiment to compare algal biodiversity and community dynamics among river microhabitats, (3) develop diatom bioindicators for water quality assessment.


Dustin Edwards, Ph.D.

Research interests: virology

Students working with Dr. Edwards will (1) optimize sensitive assays for simultaneous detection of multiple avian retroviruses and (2) collect and test for avian retrovirus infections from non-invasive samples.


Kristin Hermann, Ph.D.

Research interests: aquatic ecology, parasitology

Students working with Dr. Herrmann will (1) determine the distribution and abundance of freshwater mussel species along the boundaries of TBFS, (2) determine abundance of fish species parasitized by mussel larva, and (3) assess threats to known populations such as habitat alterations, low flow water quality requirements, environmental contaminants, and pathogens.

Dr Low

Arthur Low, Ph.D.

Research interests: environmental chemistry

Students working with Dr. Low will (1) determine the types of herbicides, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals present in the Colorado River and its tributaries, (2) quantify the concentrations of such compounds upstream and downstream of TBFS, and (3) assess whether these concentrations present a threat to the ecosystem?


Jesse Meik, Ph.D.

Research interests: developmental biology, herpetology

Students working with Dr. Meik will (1) quantify patterns of amphibian diversity and habitat associations at TBFS, (2) use geometric morphometrics to compare developmental plasticity of cave and surface-dwelling salamanders, and (3) examine relationship between water quality and salamander occurrence along the Colorado River basin.


Allan Nelson, Ph.D.

Research interests: floristics, plant ecology, riparian restoration

Students working with Dr. Nelson will (1) examine plant distributions for presence and absence of species at TBFS, (2) quantify bottomland vegetation along rivers using measures of density and dominance, and (3) quantify existing riparian restoration projects at the Ft. Worth Botanical Garden and along the Colorado River to better understand TBFS riparian restoration.


Rajani Srinivasan, Ph.D.

Research interests: environmental chemistry

Students working with Dr. Srinivasan will (1) use the latest technology to test the efficiency of plant based polysaccharides in the bioremediation of waters contaminated by heavy metals, nitrates and phosphates and (2) assess the efficiency of polysaccharide-based flocculants in removal of coliforms and other microorganisms in contaminated waters along the Colorado River.

Kartik Venkataraman

Kartik Venkataraman, Ph.D.

Research interests: anthropogenic impacts on water quality

Students working with Dr. Venkataraman will (1) analyze the impacts of agricultural activities on water quality along the Colorado River, (2) examine spatial and temporal variation in groundwater vulnerability, and (3) investigate the spatio-temporal changes in the Colorado River Basin for better understanding the potential impacts on future water availability and planning.