Student Projects

Masters Theses (Completed Theses are Available as pdf files)

Student Title Dates
Zachary Moats Ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) contribution to salt marsh nitrogen cycling 2023-2025
Paris Baker Marsh response to sea-level rise and salinity intrusion 2022-2024
Camila Silva Nitrogen fixation in tidal salt marshes of Plum Island Sound, MA: The missing nitrogen? 2022-2024
Isaiah Leach Patterns of accretion and carbon accumulation in marshes of the Plum Island Estuarine system, MA 2021-2023
Mayci Shimon “Nitrogen cycling following salt-water intrusion in tidal freshwater marsh sediments” 2019-2024
Andrea Stumpf Storm deposition of sediments on salt-marshes: Elevation capital or disturbance? 2018-2020
Sandra (Demberger) Cross Carbon sequestration in salt-marshes along the U.S. East Coast 2018-2020
Kristen Jezycki Heavy metal pollution histories as recorded in salt-marsh soils tied to land use change along the U.S. East Coast 2017-2019
Miranda Cento The role of changing salinity in mediating methane production and oxidation in tidal marshes 2017-2019
Mary Zawatski Carbon exchange and sediment deposition in a heterogeneous New England salt marsh 2016-2018
Elise Rodriguez Land use impacts on mineral sediment delivery and accretion rates in tidal wetlands 2016-2018
Alec Davis Examining the susceptibility of marshes to sea level rise and identifying potential risks to coastal communities 2016-2018
Undergraduate Student Theses Directed (*Honors Thesis)  
Student Title Dates
Gillen Curren Heavy metals in estuarine food webs 2021-2022
Leah Eastment A finished mug of coffee, and unfinished story: Caffeine in estuarine waters 2020-2021
Gabriella Giordano “Heavy metals in surficial soils and mussel tissue in Plum Island Estuary, Massachusetts” 2019-2020
Stephanie Batog “Carbon dioxide gas evasion from streams in Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern Arkansas” 2018-2019
Keegan Ruscheinski “The greenhouse gas balance of a constructed wetland” 2018-2019
Olivia Cacciatore “Riparian vegetation and stream nutrient content; possible remediation using artificial floating islands” 2017-2018
Mikala Jordan “Gas exchange between the aquatic portion of tidal marsh ecosystems and the atmosphere” 2017-2018
Danielle Radomile “Well-pads, pipelines, and roads as land use changes in the Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing region” 2015-2016
John O’Connor “Sediment accretion rates and carbon burial in Barnegat Bay, NJ” 2015
Brian Donnelly “Iron reduction rates along salinity gradients in mid-Atlantic and Louisiana estuarine systems” 2015
*Michelle Velez “Heavy metal contamination in vegetables grown in urban gardens” 2013-2014
Michele Wiedersum “Radium-226 as a potential indicator of surface water contamination from hydraulic fracturing wells in Northeast Pennsylvania” 2012-2013
Michael Lang “Denitrification in tidal marshes along a salinity gradient in the Delaware River Estuary: Implications of salt water intrusion for an important ecosystem service” 2012-2013
Jennifer Roche “A comparative analysis of green insulation techniques” 2012-2013
Margaret Garcia “A path to remediation: The effects of crude oil on salt and freshwater marsh sediment” 2012
Cynthia Troy “Effects of salinity, toxicity, moisture and temperature stress on nitrous oxide production in agricultural soils” 2012
Nicole Poletto “An assessment of heavy metal accumulation history in the Delaware River Estuary” 2011-2012
Andrew Galtieri “The dispersal of radioisotopes due to routine nuclear power plant operation” 2011-2012
Angela Bagnasco “New urbanist development plan in West Philadelphia” 2010-2011
Tatjana Prsa “Impact of rising sea levels and salinity intrusion on the metabolic activity and community composition of sulfate reducing bacteria in tidal freshwater marsh sediments” Fall 2008

Academic Year Independent Studies Directed

Student Title Dates
Chrissy Polakiewicz VURF: Radioactive contamination along the Raritan River, NJ. 2024
Kamara Staples “Irrigation techniques to reduce water consumption” 2021
James Dunbar “Mosquito and West Nile Virus dynamics in Fairfax County, Virginia” 2021
Matthew Russell “Change in nutrient concentration in streams in Eastern Pennsylvania” 2020
Samantha Huffman “Biochar application for soil remediation and plant growth” 2019
Diana Lampasona “Tidal marsh elevation and wetland mapping using an unattended aerial vehicle” 2017
Thomas Boland “Land use and water quality in headwater streams” 2017
Arielle Massillon “Sediment availability and tidal marsh accretion rates” 2017
Paige McNamara “Fecal coliforms in a constructed wetland” 2017
Mary Rose Makoski “Methane oxidation along salinity gradients in two estuaries” 2016
Naomi Ng “The role of advertising in promoting environmental consciousness” 2016
Kevin Corbusier “Sediment Import/Export Analysis of Shad Creek, Plum Island, MA” 2015
Matthew Hanagan Quantifying Aquaponics: The Effect of Blue Tilapia on Plant Biomass Production 2015
Sarah Petro “Analysis of growth and violations in hydraulic fracturing activity in Northeastern PA” 2015
Gerard Ondrey “Salinity and nitrous oxide: The effects of road salts on N2O production in Villanova University’s constructed wetland” 2015
Andrew Hotchkiss “Evaluating hydraulic fracturing impacts on baseflow in streams in the Marcellus Shale region” 2015
Emma Chudwick “Community Supported Agriculture and Urban Food Deserts” 2015
Emeka Ndichie “Mortality of ghost shrimp during a simulated oil spill and dispersant application” 2014
Connor Supple “Examination of N and P concentration in Eastern PA watersheds with varying land-use” 2013
John Devine “The effects of hydraulic fracturing on the conductivity of streams in the Susquehanna River Watershed” 2013
Molly Haggerty “Ecosystem services in a constructed wetland: Sediment retention and denitrification dynamics” 2013
Andrew Bigelow “Analysis of How Changes in Transportation Habits can alter Carbon Dioxide Emissions” 2013
Christofer Denny “Fracking Up the Susquehanna” 2013
Allison Pepper “The effects of hydraulic fracturing on surface water in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale region: An analysis of heavy metals and major ions” 2013
Stefan Goodridge “The green economy” 2011
Andrew Gordon “Gamma-emitting radioisotope contamination of drinking water in the Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction area of Northeastern Pennsylvania” 2011
Michael Mangiante “Land-use effects on phosphorus and nitrogen dynamics during a storm event in a Pennsylvania stream” 2011
Kara Chatham “Examining the impact of Mount Pinatubo ash on seawater micronutrient concentrations” 2011
Eric Au “Effects of saltwater intrusion on bio-available organic matter in marsh soils” 2011
Luis Dominguez “Observing concentrations of nitrates and phosphates in the Rio Grande at dams from the Rio Grande Reservoir, Colorado to the American Dam, El Paso, Texas” 2011
Si Xue Lin “Land  use and mutualism: investigating intercropping pairs” 2011
Michael Patson “Mineralization in two wetlands” 2011
Neil Mehta “The microbial degradation of crude oil in fresh and saltwater marsh soils” 2011
Justin Stephens “Acidification dynamics of mountaintop peatlands in response to N, SO42-, and Fe deposition in the Endless Mountains region, PA” 2010-2011
Justin Meschter “Delivery of sediments and heavy metals to tidal marshes along the Delaware River Estuary” 2009
Michael Gill “Minor-watershed phosphate and nitrate levels as a function of population density in Chester County, PA” 2009
Angela Bagnasco “Childhood environmental education: A study on the effects of a zoo on environmental awareness” 2009

Summer Field & Laboratory Internships Directed

Student Title Dates
Christine Polakiewicz VURF: Radioactive contamination along the Raritan River, NJ. 2023
Tenley Ransom Heavy Metals in Honeybees Along an Urban to Rural Gradient in the Philadelphia Region 2023
Kamara Staples Evaluating irrigation approaches to maximize plant growth and minimize water loss 2021
Gillen Curren (Beckman Scholar) Heavy metals in trophic food-webs of three U.S. East Coast estuaries 2019 and 2020
Leah Eastment Caffeine concentrations in Plum Island Sound 2019
Keegan Ruscheinski Greenhouse gas exchange in a constructed wetland 2018
Lloyd Willis Saltwater intrusion in the Delaware River estuary 2018
Gabriel Benson REU Intern on NSF Funded Research Project 2018
Diana Lampasona VURF: Creating digital elevation models and vegetation classification systems to determine marsh response to sea level rise in Plum Island, MA 2017
Mikala Jordan Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2017
Madisen Dimacale Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2017
Arielle Massillon Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2016
Mikala Jordan VURF: “The Response of Estuarine Metabolism to Changes in Tidal Marsh Elevation due to Sea Level Rise” 2016
Olivia Cacciatore Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2016
Diana Lampasona Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2016
Danielle Radomile Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2015
Brian Donnelly Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2015
Mary Rose Makoski Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2015
Kevin Corbusier Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2015
Gerard Ondrey Summer Internship 2014
Stephanie Dantos Summer Internship 2014
Molly Haggerty Summer Internship on PA Sea Grant Funded Research Project 2013
Brain Donnelly Summer Internship on PA Sea Grant Funded Research Project 2013
Julie Joyce Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2012
Michael Lang Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2012
Molly Haggerty Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2012
Alejandra Gonzalez Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2012
Cynthia Troy GEV: “Increased nitrous oxide production by microbial denitrifiers brought about by stress due to salinity, pH, toxicity and moisture in estuarine and agricultural soils” 2011
Eric Au Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2011
Justin Walsh Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2011
Margaret Garcia Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2011
Justin Stephens VURF: “Acidification dynamics of mountaintop peatlands in response to N, SO42-, and Fe deposition in the Endless Mountains region, PA” 2010
Melanie Pingoy Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2010
Neil Mehta Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2010
John Ufferfilge Summer Internship on NSF Funded Research Project 2010
Michael Patson VURF: “Impact of sea level rise and salt water intrusion on plant growth and seed-bank recruitment in oligohaline marshes of the Delaware River Estuary” 2009
Justin Meschter Summer Internship 2009