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Phone: 979.845.3423
Fax: 979.845.6331
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Texas A&M University
506DA, Oceanography and Meteorology Building
MS 3146,
College Station, Texas 77843


  • OCNG 401 - Interdisciplinary Oceanography - Fall 2012
  • OCNG 620 - Biological Oceanography - Spring 2012

Graduate students:

Current students

Stephanie Durkacz 

Recent students

Roxanne Duncan

Michelle Johnston

Julia O'Hern

Kerri Smith

Beyond the Podium Presentations:

MP4 Video File


Dr. Doug Biggs


Ph.D. Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976

B.A. with Honors, Biology, Franklin & Marshall College, 1972


Professor Doug Biggs is a sea-going oceanographer. Biggs has lead or otherwise collaborated in a wide variety of oceanographic research programs in the Gulf of Mexico, 1980-2005. Since 1995, Biggs was Chief or Co-Chief Scientist on 5 Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) and Gulf of Mexico Cetacean Study (GulfCet) cruises, 9 NorthEast Gulf of Mexico (NEGOM) chemical oceanography and hydrographic cruises, 5 multidisciplinary research cruises that trained TAMU grad students in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and he was a participant on 2 other cruises. Twenty of these research cruises were conducted using the R/V Gyre; the other (in 1995) was on the Mexican Navy research vessel Antares. In 2008, Biggs and his grad students initiated work on the physical and biological habitat of marine mammals in the eastern tropica Pacific Ocean, in cooperation with the Oceanographic Institute of the Ecuador Navy.

Biggs' research and that of his grad students bridges physical with biological oceanography. Biggs and his students have been investigating the oceanographic habitat of sperm whales and other marine mammals by merging remote sensing with shipboard hydrographic surveys, and by using the acoustic backscatter signal from vessel-mounted as well as moored ADCPs as a proxy for zooplankton biomass. Zooplankton are potential food for small fish and squid, which are in turn potential prey for marine mammals and other apex predators.

Research Interests

  • Physical and biological habitat use by sperm whales and other apex predators in the Gulf of Mexico and (in cooperation with Ecuador Navy) in the eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean
  • Biogeochemical processes in mesoscale eddies
  • Zooplankton stock estimation from ADCP backscatter intensity
  • Nutrient enhanced coastal ocean productivity


In 2009, the Marine Mammals Commission provided support to me for “Building Partnerships for Long-Term Ecological Monitoring of Marine Mammals in the Galapagos Islands and in other Marine Reserves in Ecuador”. This was a cooperative project with the Instituto Oceanografico de la Armada del Ecuador (INOCAR). My MMC $34,969 award included 1.5 months of my research time/effort for six months 1 Sept 2009 – 28 Feb 2010, and support for travel to Washington DC and to several meetings.

Prior to beginning this work in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, I collaborated in five oceanographic research programs in the Gulf of Mexico: NASA, NEGOM, DGOMB, SWAMP, and SWSS. These programs were externally funded by NASA, NOAA, and MMS.

TAMU GRADUATE STUDENTS I chaired or co-chaired since 2000: Patrick H. Ressler (PhD, 2001); Rebecca L. Scott (MS, 2001); Leila Belabbassi (MS, 2001); Laurie R. Sindlinger (MS, 2003); Amanda Olson Kaltenberg (MS, 2004); William W. Fletcher (MS, 2004); Alyson K. Azzara (MS, 2006); Julia E. O’Hern (MS, 2007; Julia is continuing at A&M, to work toward the PhD); Michelle L. Johnston (entered Fall 2009 to work toward MS); Roxanne G. Duncan (entered Fall 2009 to work toward MS); Kerri J. Smith (entered Fall 2009 to work toward MS)


  • Professor, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station TX, 1996 to date.
  • Associate Professor, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1983-1996
  • Assistant Professor, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1977-1983
  • Manager, Tech Support Services Group, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1986-1996
  • Instructor, Marine Zooplankton Ecology 3-week summer course, Bermuda Biological Station for Research, taught 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Marine Sciences Research Center, University of New York-Stony Brook, 1976-1977


Biggs is a Scientific Advisor to the US Marine Mammal Commission

Six Recent Publications

  • Nababan, B., F.E. Muller-Karger, C. Hu, and D.C. Biggs, 2011. Chlorophyll variability in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Intl. J. Rem. Sensing. TRES_A_542192: 19 pages. DOI:10.1080/01431161.2010.542192
  • O’Hern, J.E., and D.C. Biggs, 2009. Sperm whale habitat in the Gulf of Mexico: Satellite observed ocean color and altimetry applied to small scale variability in distribution. Aquatic Mammals, 35: 358-366.
  • Biggs, D.C., C. Hu, and F. Muller-Karger, 2008. Remotely sensed sea surface chlorophyll and POC flux at Deep Gulf of Mexico Benthos sampling stations. Deep Sea Res. II, 55: 2555-2562.
  • Kaltenberg, A.O., D.C. Biggs, and S.F. DiMarco, 2007. Deep scattering layers of the northern Gulf of Mexico observed with a ship-board 38-kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP). Gulf Mex. Sci., 25: 97-108.
  • Biggs, D.C., Jochens, A.E., Howard, M.K., DiMarco, S.F., Mullin, K.D., Leben, R.R., Muller- Karger, F.E., and Hu, C. 2005. Eddy forced variations in on- and off-margin summertime circulation along the 1000-m isobath of the northern Gulf of Mexico, 200-2003, and links with sperm whale distributions along the middle slope. Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico: Observations and Models (W. Sturges and A. Lugo-Fernandez, Eds.) Amer. Geophys. Union Geophys. Monogr. Series. 161: 71-85
  • Sindlinger, L.R., Biggs, D.C., and DiMarco, S.F. 2005. Temporal and spatial variability of ADCP backscatter on a continental slope, Contl. Shelf Res., 25: 259-275.
  • Publications prior to 2005...


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