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Accumulation of Refractory Dissolved Organic Nitrogen in Sediments Porewater

Marine sediments are globally significant sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to the water column. However, their role in the oceanic DOM cycle is unclear, because the molecular composition and reactivity of the DOM that is produced in the sediments - and supports a benthic flux - remains largely unexplored.  The connection between benthic DOM dynamics and the oceanic DOM cycle remains elusive because we are lacking information about sediment DOM at the molecular level. Our long-term goal is to gain a mechanistic understanding of organic matter degradation and accumulation through examination of pore-water DOM composition and dynamics.  We are currently investigating the microbial alteration of peptides as a mechanism for the production of refractory DOM in anoxic sediments.


Environmental Metabolomics 

One of the most challenging questions prohibiting us from fully understand our marine ecosystem is predicting how aquatic microbial communities respond and tolerate environmental stresses. In our lab, we address this question by studying the changes in the metabolomics profiles of these microbes which could give us more details about the interactions between these species and their environment, and for the identification of the chemical mechanisms that enable these species to tolerate environmental stresses especially as metabolites reflect and amplify the activities at a functional level, i.e., the true phenotype.

Current Grants

  • NSF-OCE "Collaborative Proposal: How does salt affect DOM photodegradation? A view through the lens of carboxyl groups.".  Hussain Abdulla (PI).

  • NSF-OCE “Organic Carbon Oxidation State and Decomposition During Burial in Intertidal Microbial Mat Ecosystems”.James Fulton (lead PI, Baylor University) and Hussain Abdulla (Co-PI).

  • U.S. Army Corp Of Engineers ”Microplastic presence and circulation in Galveston, Corpus Christi, and Matagorda Bays.”. Hussain Abdulla (PI), Darek Bogucki (Co-PI), and Gombojav Ariunbold (Co-PI; University of South Mississippi).

  •  Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust “Mercury and Plastic in Commercial and Recreational Fisheries in Lavaca, Matagorda, and San Antonio Bays: Risk Assessment and Interaction between the Two Contaminants.”. Hussain Abdulla (PI) and Jessica Dutton (Co-PI, Texas State University).

  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department “Population and Health Assessment of Common Bottlenose Dolphins.”. Dara Orbach (PI) and Hussain Abdulla (Co-PI).

  • NSF- OCE “ REU Site: Summer Undergraduate Research focus (SURF): Anthropogenic Impacts on Coastal and Marine Systems”.  Joseph Felix (PI), Dorina Murgulet (Co-PI), Hussain Abdulla (Collaborator), Mohamed Ahmed (Collaborator), Lin Zhang (Collaborator), Lindsay Prothro (Collaborator), Richard Coffin (Collaborator) and Xinping Hu (Collaborator)


Previous Grants

  • NSF-MRI "Acquisition of a Leading-edge Portable Geoprobe System with Subsurface Sampling, Logging and Imaging Capabilities for Geoscience." Dorina Murgulet(PI), Hussain Abdulla (Co-PI), Hua Zhang (Co-PI), Mohamed Ahmed (Co-PI) and Joseph Felix (Co-PI). 

  • Texas General Land Office: "An integrated assessment of nutrient loadings to Baffin Bay, Texas". Mike Wetz (Lead PI), Dorina Murgulet (Co-PI), Hussain Abdulla (Co-PI), Mohamed Ahmed (Co-PI) and Joseph Felix (Co-PI).

  • NSF-Chemical Oceanography: "Peptide deamination as a source of refractory dissolved organic in Marine Sediments” Hussain Abdulla (Lead PI). David Burdige (Old Dominion University, Co-PI) and Tomoko Komada (San Francesco State University, Co-PI).

  • NSF-RAPID "Collaborative Research: Mobilization and transport of contaminants to groundwater in flood-impacted unconnected". Dorina Murgulet (Lead PI), Hussain Abdulla (Co-PI).

  • NSF-MRI. Jeremy Conkle (PI), Lin Zhang (Co-PI), and Brandi Reese (Co-PI).

  • Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program "Assessment of organic pollutants in Nueces Bay's petroleum brine impacted sediments". Hussain Abdulla (PI) and Dorina Murgulet (Co-PI).

  • MRI-NSF (OCE-1626494) award: "Acquisition of hybrid mass spectrometer for geochemistry and environmental studies". Hussain Abdulla (PI), Paul Zimba (Co-PI), Jeremy Conkle (Co-PI).

  • TCRF- Program Development TAMUCC award: "The Removal of terrestrial dissolved organic matter in coastal regions by photo-flocculation process". Hussain Abdulla (PI).

  • Howard and Georgeanna Jones Foundation for Reproductive Medicine award. "Identification of biomarkers of human embryo developmental potential in IVF: A novel non-invasive metabolomics approach". Sergio Oehninger (PI, EVMS), Hussain Abdulla (Co-PI).

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