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University Students Share Research at State of the Coast 2018

Students from Louisiana State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Nicholls State University, Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge and LUMCON won awards for their research presentations and posters at State of the Coast 2018. Each of the 12 students received $350.

Winners in the undergraduate student research poster competition were:

  • Brandon Champagne, Louisiana State University (LSU), for Community Resilience in Context: How Culture Shapes Post-Disaster Communities. Champagne also was a Louisiana Sea Grant Undergraduate Research Opportunities student.
  • Madeline LeBlanc, LSU, for Identification of Carbon and Nitrogen Hot Spots in Fourleague Bay along a Salinity and Sediment Gradient.
  • Darian Madere, LSU, for Changes in Bacterial Abundance under Seasonal Nutrient Variations and Relationships with Phytoplankton Biomass.

Winners in the graduate student research poster competition were:

  • Jordan Logarbo, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), for Incorporating Geukensia granosissima into Living Shoreline Restoration in Spartina alterniflora Dominated Louisiana Salt Marshes.
  • Ali Reza Payandeh, LSU, for Assessing the Effects of Cold Fronts on Hydrodynamic Characteristics and Temperature-Salinity Patterns in Barataria Bay.
  • Sabrina Tabassum-Tackett, University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), Heavy Metal Tolerance in Three Marine Phytoplankton Species: Effects of Cadmium Bioaccumulation on Algal Biomolecules and Processes.

Winners in the undergraduate student research oral presentation competition were:

  • Brennon Dardar, Nicholls State University, for Evaluation of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) as a Levee Monitoring Tool.
  • Duyen Lam, LSU, for Connecting the Youth to Coastal Restoration.
  • Jamar Melton, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, Collective Resilience: Preparing Communities to Help Themselves in the Wake of a Large-scale Disaster.

Winners of the graduate student research oral presentation competition were:

  • Molly Keogh, Tulane University, for Sediment Retention in Diversion-fed Coastal Wetlands: A Field-based Conceptual Model.
  • Jarrett Levesh, University of New Orleans, for Middle Miocene through Present Fault History of the Delacroix Island Fault System.
  • Christina Powell, LSU, for Influence of Black Mangrove Expansion on Aquatic Communities and Food Webs of Salt Marshes in Eastern Coastal Louisiana.

Sixty-eight students participated in the poster and presentation competitions, which were organized by Louisiana Sea Grant. Champagne, LeBlanc, Madere and Powell have all had some affiliation with Louisiana Sea Grant. Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant ( has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at LSU, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.

The State of the Coast Conference is the largest state-wide conference of its kind providing an interdisciplinary forum to exchange timely and relevant information on the dynamic conditions of Louisiana’s coastal communities, environment and economy. The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), The Water Institute of the Gulf and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) partner to produce this forum.