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Antonietta S. Quigg
Antonietta S. Quigg
(409) 740-4990
(409) 740-5002
TAMU Galveston Marine Biology
Texas A&M University at Galveston 
P.O. Box 1675 
Galveston, Texas 77553

B.Sci. (Majors in Biochemistry and Chemistry). La Trobe University, Australia, 1990.
B.Sci. (Honors, Biochemistry), La Trobe University, Australia, 1990.
Ph.D. (Biological Sciences), Monash University, Australia, 2000

Antonietta S. Quigg

Associate Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies
Biological Oceanography; Biotic Response to Climate Variability, Phytoplankton

Research Interests

My lab’s research is focused on phytoplankton as model organisms to address questions related to water, climate and energy. We use quantitative and experimental approaches to elucidate the importance of biotic and abiotic factors influencing phytoplankton dynamics (community composition, physiology, ecology) in both field and laboratory-settings. One of the greatest challenges facing the world today is ensuring an adequate supply and quality of water to meet rapidly increasing human needs whilst securing the continued health of our waterways. The goal of much of the lab’s research is to understand and predict interactions between water systems, climate change, land use and ecosystem function and services in estuaries and coasts. Studies are performed at a level of spatial and temporal resolution to allow for extrapolation to other regions, and to ultimately develop and/or feed predictive models. One of the emerging issues for the 21st century is the fate and transport of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to the environment. By investigating ENPs which have trace metal cores, we have transitioned from investigating metals as nutritional components of phytoplankton to work on the toxicity of metals. Phytoplankton are directly and indirectly impacted by ENPs, and there is an increased potential for bioaccumulation and biomagnification of some metals to higher trophic levels. Because of their potential to alter biogeochemical cycles including the C and N cycle, this will continue to be an active area of future studies; as will be understanding the potential phytoplankton protective and detoxifying mechanisms.

Selected Publications


Williams, A. K. and Quigg, A. Spatiotemporal variability in autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial plankton abundance in a subtropical estuary, Galveston Bay, Texas, USA. Journal of Coastal Research. Accepted.

Gutierrez, T., Teske, A., Ziervogel, K., Passow, U. and Quigg, A. Microbial exopolymers: sources, chemico-physiological properties, and ecosystem effects in the marine environment. Frontiers Research Topic: Microbial exopolymers: sources, chemico-physiological properties, and ecosystem effects in the marine environment. 9, 1822. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01822

Sun, L., Chiu, M.H., Xu, C., Lin, P., Schwehr, K.A., Bacosa H., Kamalanathan, M., Quigg, A., Chin, W.-C., and Santschi, P.H. The effects of sunlight on the composition of exopolymeric substances and subsequent aggregate formation during oil spills. Marine Chemistry, In press, Online 04/29/18.

Rooker, J. R., Dance, M. A., Wells, R. J. D., Quigg, A., Hill, R. L., Appeldoorn, R. S., Padovani Ferreira, B., Boswell, K. M., Sanchez, P. J., Moulton, D. L., Kitchens, L. L., Rooker, G., and Aschenbrenner, A. Seascape connectivity and the influence of predation risk on the movement of fishes inhabiting a back-reef ecosystem. Ecosphere. (4):e02200.

Kamalanathan, M., Xu, C., Schwehr, K. A., Bretherton, L., Beaver, M., Doyle, S. M., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Sylvan, J. B., Santschi, P.H., and Quigg, A. Extracellular enzyme activity profile in a chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction of surrogate oil: towards understanding microbial activities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Frontiers in Microbiology. Aquatic Microbiology. 9: 798. (13 pages). doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00798

Kamalanathan, M., Schwehr, K. A., Bretherton, L., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Xu, C., Williams, A. K. Santschi, P.H. and Quigg, A. Diagnostic tool to ascertain marine phytoplankton exposure to chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction of oil using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 130: 170-178.

Bretherton, L., Williams, A. K., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Kamalanathan, M., Finkel, Z. V., and Quigg, A. Physiological response of 10 phytoplankton species exposed to Macondo oil and the dispersant, Corexit. J. Phycol. 54: 317-328. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12625

Doyle, S. M., Whitaker, E. A., De Pascuale, V., Wade, T. L., Knap, A. H., Santschi, P.H. Quigg, A. and Sylvan, J. B. Rapid formation of microbe-oil aggregates and changes in community composition in coastal surface water following exposure to oil and the dispersant Corexit. Frontiers in Microbiology. Aquatic Microbiology. 9: 689. (16 pages).   

Steichen, J. L. and Quigg, A. Fish species as indicators of freshwater inflow within a subtropical estuary in the Gulf of Mexico. Ecological Indicators. 85: 180-189. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.10.018

Hatcher, P. G., Obeid, W., Wozniak, A. S., Xu, C., Zhang, S., Santschi, P.H. and Quigg, A. Identifying oil/marine snow associations in mesocosm simulations of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill event using solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 126: 159-165. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.004



Passow, U., Sweet, J., and Quigg, A. How the dispersant Corexit impacts the formation of sinking marine oil snow. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 125: 139-145. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.08.015

Chiu, M-H., Khan, Z., Garcia, S., Le, A., Kagiri, A., Ramos, J., Tsai, S-M; Drobenaire, H., Santschi, P.H. Quigg, A. and Chin, W-C. Effect of Engineered Nanoparticles on Exopolymeric Substances Release from Marine Phytoplankton. Nanoscale research letters 12: 620-627. doi: 10.1186/s11671-017-2397-x

Wade, T., Morales-McDevitt, M. E., Bera, G., Shi, D., Sweet, S. T., Wang, B., Gold-Bouchot, G., Quigg, A. and Knap, A. H. A method for the production of large volumes of WAF and CEWAF for dosing mesocosms to understand Marine Oil Snow formation. Heylion. 3 (10), e00419. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00419

Zhao, Y., Wang, Y., Santschi, P.H., and Quigg, A. Response of photosynthesis and the antioxidant defense system of two microalgal species (Alexandrium minutum and Dunaliella salina) to the toxicity of BDE-47. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 124: 459-469. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.038

Lin, P., Xu, C., Zhang, S., Sun, L., Schwehr, K. A., Bretherton, L., Quigg, A., and   Santschi, P.H. Importance of coccolithophore-associated organic biopolymers for fractionating particle-reactive radionuclides (234Th, 233Pa, 210Pb, 210Po and 7Be) in the ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 12220332045. doi:10.1002/2017JG003779

Chiu, M-H., Garcia, S. G., Hwang, B., Claiche, D., Sanchez, G., Aldayafleh, R., Tsai, S-M., Santschi, P.H. Quigg, A. and Chin, W-C. Corexit, Oil and Marine Microgels. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 122: 376-387. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.06.077

Sun, L., Xu, C., Zhang, S., Lin, P., Schwehr, K. A., Quigg, A., Chiu, M-H., Chin, W.-C., and Santschi, P.H. Light-induced aggregation of microbial exopolymeric substances. Chemosphere. 181: 675-681. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.04.099

Williams, A.K., Bacosa, H. P., and Quigg, Q. The impact of dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorous on responses of microbial plankton to the Texas City “Y” Oil Spill in Galveston Bay, Texas (USA). Marine Pollution Bulletin. 121: 32-44. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.033.

Wells, R. J. D., Rooker, J. R., Quigg, A. and Wissel, B. Influence of mesoscale oceanographic features on pelagic food webs in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Biology (2017) 164: 92-103. doi: 10.1007/s00227-017-3122-0

Liu, H., Zhang, X., Yang, Q., Zui, T., and Quigg, A. Mesozooplankton Dynamics in Relation to Environmental Factors and Juvenile Fish in a Subtropical Estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Coastal Research, 33: 1038 – 1050. doi: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00155.1

Pinckney, J.L., Quigg, A., and Roelke, D.L. Interannual and Seasonal Patterns of Estuarine Phytoplankton Diversity in Galveston Bay, Texas, USA. Estuaries and Coasts. 40: 310-316 doi:10.1007/s12237-016-0135-8.



Quigg, A., Passow, U., Chin, W.-C., Bretherton, L., Kamalanathan, M., Xu, C., Schwehr, K.A., Zhang, S., Sun, L., Wade, T.L., Finkel, Z.V., Doyle, S., Sylvan, J.B., Williams, A.K., Obeid, W., Hatcher, P.G., Knap, A.H., and Santschi, P.H. 2016. The role of microbial exoploymers in determining the fate of oil and chemical dispersants in the ocean. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, 1: 3-26. doi: 10.1002/lol2.10030

Zhang, S., Gao, H., Quigg, A. and Roelke, D. L. Remote sensing of spatial-temporal variations of chlorophyll a in Galveston Bay, Texas. 2016 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2016). 4 pages.

Nunez, M. and Quigg, A. Changes in growth and composition of the marine microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Nannochloropsis salina in response to changing sodium bicarbonate concentrations. Journal Applied Phycology. 28: 2123-2138. doi: 10.1007/s10811-015-0746-7. 

Wei,C-L., Rowe, G., Al-Anasi, M., Al-Maslamani, I.,  Soliman, Y., Al Din, N., Al-Ansari, I.S., Al-Shaikh, I., Quigg, A., Nunnally, C.C., and Abdel Moati, M.A. Macrobenthos in the Central Arabian Gulf: a Reflection of Climate Extremes and Variability. Hydrobiologia.  770: 53-72. doi: 10.1007/s10750-015-2568-7

Quigg, A.  Ch. 10 Micronutrients. In: Borowitzka MA, Beardall J, Raven JA (eds) The Physiology of Microalgae. Dordrecht, Springer. Vol 6., Springer, Developments in Applied Phycology series. pp 211-231

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