SUBSEA Research Objectives
As a CO-I in SUBSEA I will be focused on fielding robotic sampling and sensing instrumentation for the collective needs of the science team and working to develop higher levels of autonomous control for sample and data collection. I looked forward to working with the SUBSEA team to advance our approach to planetary exploration.
I am a geochemist and engineer and I study the oceans using robotic technology. I received my mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M University College Station, served as an officer and engineer in the U.S. Navy’s Naval Reactors Program, received my doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute in 2006, completed a postdoc at Stanford, and then a postdoc at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where I subsequently worked as a scientist in the Deep Submergence Lab until 2015. In 2015, I returned to Texas to join the faculty at the newly formed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley as an associate professor in marine science.
My studies concern the flow of material and chemical energy between the lithosphere and the oceans and the role these fluxes play in controlling primary productivity. I have been studying deep-sea hydrothermal processes for 14 years. During my first hydrothermal research cruise in 2004, I realized the latent potential of robotic oceanography to advance marine biogeochemistry and have been working to help realize that potential ever since. I have developed and fielded robotic sampling equipment on ROVs Jason and Hercules, AUVs Sentry and Remus, and hydrid AUV/ROV Nereus. I also led the development of the Clio project to develop a dedicated vertical profiling AUV for biogeochemical studies and I am a co-PI in the Mesobot project to develop an AUV to study biological and chemical processes in the ocean twilight zone.
"I am excited about exploring the oceans because there is still so much we do not understand about them - and I believe healthy oceans are critical to maintaining a healthy environment for all of us."