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School of Ocean Science and Engineering


Meet some of our students and faculty who share their journey, expertise, and research as members of the School of Ocean Science and Engineering at USM.

Students Faculty




Paul McDonald


Coastal Science

Examining Eastern Oysters

Paul McDonald's current research is examining eastern oysters from the northern Gulf of Mexico for tolerance to high thermal and low salinity conditions. 



Marthonette Aguilar

Ocean Engineering

I chose Ocean Engineering as a major, here's why.

Undergraduate Marthonette Aguilar shares why she chose Ocean Engineering as her major, after attending USM’s Hydrography Day during her Junior year in high school.

Read about Aguilar



Photo of Christian Hayes


Coastal Science

From Seagrass Systems to Turtle Sightings Surveys in Roatán, Honduras

Christian Hayes, Ph.D. student, has conducted meaningful and practical research in the marine environment, which has prepared him for a future career in academia.

Read about Hayes



Photo of Alfonso Cohuo


Coastal Science

Lab Work Opens Doors

As a graduate student in Coastal Sciences, Alfonso Cohuo, discovered his passion through his work in an ecology lab.

Read about Cohuo



Brandy Armstrong


Marine Science

Research Scientist with the Ocean Modeling  Group

As a staff research scientist with the ocean modeling group, Brandy Armstrong is working to develop a Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport (COAWST) model of the Mississippi Sound and Bite.

Read about Armstrong



Photo of Lea Locke-Wynn


Marine Science

Building Ocean Forecasting Products for the Navy

After first year of graduate school, Lea Locke-Wynn lands a job at the Naval Oceanographic Office.

Read about Wynn


Steven Ates

Ocean Engineering

Joining the New Program

After starting off as a Marine Biology major, Steven Ates discovers his career path when he changes to the new program in Ocean Engineering.

Read about Ates



Dr. Leonardo Macelloni


Hydrographic Science

Deep Ocean Exploration and Imaging 

Dr. Dr. Leonardo Macelloni's research deals with all the aspects of deep ocean exploration and imaging of the seabed and the sub-seabed. Projects span from the search of the first WWII in the Gulf of Mexico the freighter Norlindo (funded by NOAA OE), to deploy seabed landers to assess the damage of the oil spill in fragile deep sea benthic communities (funded by NRDA).

Read About Dr. Macelloni



Photo of Dr. Gero Nootz


Ocean Engineering

The Next Generation of Autonomous Platforms

Dr. Gero Nootz’s research, which is carried out within the Ocean Exploration Lab (OEL), revolves around expanding the capabilities of a new generation of small autonomous platforms, be it Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) or Autonomous Surface vehicles (ASVs).

Read about Dr. Nootz 


Mahdi Razaz

Ocean Engineering

An Interdisciplinary Study of Scientific Importance 

Mahdi Razaz's research focuses on developing and deploying new classes of acoustic and optical sensors to perform measurements where currently available instrumentation is not adequate. 

Read about Razaz



Coastal Science

Developing Ecosystem Models in the Gulf of Mexico & the Mississippi River Delta

As a new faculty member, Dr. Kim de Mutsert, will use her research expertise in coastal and estuarine fish ecology and ecosystem modeling to mentor graduate students.





Dr. Kristina Mojica


Marine Science

NASA Venture: Controlling Ocean System Function

Dr. Kristina Mojica was recently involved in a NASA Earth Venture Suborbital mission focused resolving key processes controlling ocean system function, their influences on atmospheric aerosols and clouds and their implications for climate. 

Read about Dr. Mojica's Research



Photo of Dr. Joris L. van der Ham


Marine Science

A Look Into New Visiting Professor's Diverse Expertise

As an invertebrate ecologist and zoologist, Dr. Joris L. van der Ham, brings a diverse academic background to USM. He'll be able to provide his students with a well-rounded educational experience due to his diverse background in oceanography, marine ecology, and science policy, and more!