Harte Research Institute Announces New Appointments to HRI Fellows Program

2022 HRI Fellows

CORPUS CHRISTI - Three Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) researchers were selected for two-year appointments with the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) as a part of the HRI Fellows program. The program, now in its second year, selects scholars from across disciplines at TAMU-CC and promotes interdisciplinary research projects and collaboration between HRI and the university.

Each researcher was nominated for their appointment by a current HRI chair, with whom they will collaborate on a shared project that combines their expertise. Each fellow will be provided with seed money by HRI to support their collaborative project.

The 2022 HRI Fellows include:

Dr. Keisha Bahr is an Assistant Professor of Marine Biology. She is a coral reef ecologist interested in understanding how corals and coral reefs react and adapt to environmental change. Her research seeks to reveal insights into ecosystem health and resilience while providing practical solutions to managers, policymakers, and communities. Over the past decade, she has collaborated with academic, government, non-governmental institutions, and local communities to develop the knowledge and tools to restore, preserve, and manage our coral reef ecosystems.

As an HRI Fellow, Bahr will work with HRI Director of International Programs and Assistant Research Scientist, Dr. Mark Besonen, and HRI International Chairs for Cuba (Dr. Patricia González Díaz) and Mexico (Dr. Nuno Simões) to co-develop and support standardized monitoring methods for corals reefs throughout the Gulf of Mexico. This project will elevate HRI’s Trinational Initiative by co-developing knowledge and tools to support the conservation and management strategies of HRI international partners. Therefore, the results of this project will equip, assist, and empower communities to manage and monitor their natural resources, strengthening the long-term sustainability of coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Daniel Coffey is an Assistant Professor of Biology in Fisheries and Mariculture in the Department of Life Sciences. As a marine ecologist, his research centers on understanding the behavioral and spatial ecology of marine animals by uncovering the mechanisms that govern adaptation, habitat use, and movement through innovative technologies and quantitative approaches. Coffey’s research spans interdisciplinary collaborations with academic, government, non-governmental organizations, and local stakeholders to develop the knowledge and tools to conserve and manage our living marine resources. Coffey is currently a member of the National Marine Fisheries Service Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel.

As an HRI Fellow, Coffey will work with HRI Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health, Dr. Greg Stunz, and the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation, to develop a suite of habitat suitability models to establish historical baselines and predict future distributions of economically and ecologically important estuarine-dependent species along the Texas coast under changing environmental regimes.

Dr. Rossy Lima is a writer, scholar, translator, and activist. She is an Assistant Professor at TAMU-CC in the Humanities Department, and her research includes heritage language learners, language justice, and translation. Lima has translated for Penguin Random House, Arte Público Press, the Federal Reserve Bank, the National Latina Institute, and other organizations.

In her role as an HRI Fellow, she will work with Dr. Katya Wowk to apply a community-based participatory research approach and learn about how Spanish monolingual communities manage their language needs. The goal is to establish sustainable channels to create a more equitable linguistic reality for the Coastal Bend community.