Doug Biggs

Doug Biggs

Professor Emeritus


  • 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



Since 2000, I collaborated in five oceanographic research programs in the Gulf of Mexico: NASA, NEGOM, DGOMB, SWAMP, and SWSS.  My research focus in these programs that were externally funded by MMS, NASA, and NOAA was on bridging physical with biological oceanography.  In addition, I received funding from the US Marine Mammal Commission 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 $34,969 award for cooperative work with the Instituto Oceanografico de la Armada del Ecuador (INOCAR). 



Rebeca Gasca (Ecosur Mexico), Jonathan Gordon (Univ St Andrews UK), Chuanmin Hu (Univ South Florida), Robert Leben (Univ Colorado), Bruce Mate (Oregon State Univ), Frank Muller-Karger (Univ South Florida), Keith Mullin (NOAA-NMFS), Aaron Thode (Univ California), Peter Tyack (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), John Walsh (Univ South Florida)

Selected Publications

REFEREED PUBLICATIONS, last 10 years (asterisk denotes 1st author is one of Biggs’ graduate students):

  • D.C. Biggs, *S.M. Durkacz, *L.M. Martin, M. Narvaez, A. De La Garza, Z. Lombraña, and M. Santos (in review as of Dec 2016). Bryde’s whales (Balaneoptera edeni) in an area of upwelling off Isla San Cristóbal, Galápagos. Submitted Sep 2016 to Neotropical Biodiversity, 10 pages.
  • *O’Hern, J.E., *M. Sculley, *K. Smith, N. Slowey, and D.C. Biggs (accepted Dec 2015; in press for 2017). Marine mammal distribution in Ecuador: surveys aboard a ship of opportunity as a means of monitoring relative abundance. Latin Am. J. Aquatic Mammals, 25 pages.
  • 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. 19 pages.
  • *O’Hern, J.E., and D.C. Biggs, 2009Sperm 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.M., 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.


Ph.D., 1976, Joint Program in Oceanography, M.I.T. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

B.A., 1972, magna cum laude with Dept Honors in Biology, Franklin & Marshall College


  • Texas A&M High Impact Learning Experience travel award for taking A&M undergrads along with grad students to do fieldwork in collaboration with Ecuador Navy in Galapagos Islands
  • Texas A&M Student Led Award for Teaching Excellence, Spring 2010
  • Texas A&M Faculty Development Leave, Spring 2001, to allow me to spend 2 months at the University of Colorado and one-half month at the University of South Florida;
  • Texas A&M Big Twelve Faculty Fellowship, Fall 1997, to allow me to spend 10 days at the University of Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research;
  • Texas A&M Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award, academic year 1988-1989;
  • Texas A&M Faculty Development Leave, Spring & Summer 1985, to allow me to spend 5 months in France at the University of Paris VI;
  • Antarctic Service Medal of the United States, 1979 (I served as Co-Chief US Scientist for B/O Islas Orcadas  cruise 19 (carried out in 1978 in cooperation with the Instituto Antarctico Argentino);
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1971 (junior year, Franklin & Marshall College)


Biggs is a Scientific Advisor to the US Marine Mammal Commission

Additional Information

Retired (no longer teaching)

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, 1996-2016, and scientific advisor to US Marine Mammal Commission, 2011-2015.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Oceanography, TAMU, 1983-1996, and Manager, Technical Support Services Group, 1986-1995.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, TAMU, 1977-1983.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1976-1977. Post-doc sponsor: C.F. Wurster (retired)


Professor Doug Biggs has led or otherwise collaborated in dozens of oceanographic research cruises in the Gulf of Mexico. From 1991-2004, Biggs served as Chief or Co-Chief Scientist on 9 NorthEast Gulf of Mexico (NEGOM) chemical oceanography and hydrographic cruises, 5 Gulf of Mexico Cetacean Studies (GulfCet, SWSS) cruises, and 10 multidisciplinary research cruises that trained A&M grad students. Biggs participated in 5 others. Twenty-seven of the cruises were conducted using A&M’s R/V Gyre; the others were fielded on R/V Powell and the Mexican Navy research vessel B/O Antares
  • American Society of Limnology & Oceanography (since 1976);
  • American Geophysical Union (since 1979); 
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 1979);
  • Sigma Xi (since 1979);
  • Marine Technology Society (since 1986);
  • The Oceanography Society (charter member, 1988).



Dr. Robert R. Bidigare (PhD 1981)                                    Michael A. Krone (MS 1979)

Professor, Dept Oceanography                                current address unknown; was at

University of Hawaii                                            United Gas Pipeline Company

Honolulu, HI   96822                                           Houston, TX  77002


Dr. David E. Smith (PhD 1982)                             Dr. Mark A. Johnson (MS 1981)

Professor, Environmental Science                           Professor, Institute of Marine Science

University of Virginia                                           University of Alaska

Charlottesville, VA  22903                                   Fairbanks, AK  99775


Dr. Julie W. Ambler (PhD 1982)                           Dr. Michael E. Ondrusek (MS 1989)

Professor, Biology Dept                                        received PhD in Oceanography

Millersville State University                                  University of Hawaii

Millersville, PA 17551                                         Honolulu, HI  96822


Dr. Zubir Bin Din (PhD 1983)                               Lionel L. Sanchez (MS 1992)

Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies                     Research Assistant, Botany Department

Universiti Sains Malaysia                                     Duke University

11800 Penang, Malaysia                                       Durham, NC  27708


Dr. Il Noh (PhD 1991)                                         Dr. Robert A. Zimmerman (MS 1993)

Research Scientist                                                received PhD in Biology (1997) from TAMU

Department of Oceanography                                  and MD (1999) from UT Health Sci Ctr San Antonio

Inha University, Inchon, Korea                               now Medical Director, Geauga Regional Hospital, OH


Dr. Wen-tseng Lo (PhD 1995)                               Rebecca L. Scott (MS 2001)                                 

Dept of Marine Resources                                      current address unknown

National Sun-Yat Sen University                            (Becca moved to Austin TX upon marriage in 2001)

Kaohsiung, Taiwan                                             


Dr. Patrick H. Ressler (PhD 2001)                          Laurie R. Sindlinger (MS 2003)

Research Scientist                                                Urban Environmental Educator

NOAA Alaska Fishery Science Center                     Essex County New Jersey Audubon Society

Seattle WA 98112                                               Roseland, NJ 07068


Dr. Leila Belabbassi (MS 2001)                             William W. Fletcher (MS 2004)                           

Asst Research Scientist, Oceanography                    Research Assistant

Texas A&M University                                        Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

College Station, TX 77843                                               St Petersburg, FL 33701


Amanda M. Kaltenberg (MS 2004)                         Alyson J. Azzara (MS 2006)                                 

entered PhD program in Oceanography                    entered PhD program in Oceanography

at Oregon State University, Fall 2004                     at Univ of Southern Mississippi, Fall 2008 

Corvallis, OR 97331                                            after working 2006-2008 as an acoustic technician


Julia E. O’Hern (MS 2007; PhD 2012)                   M.L. Johnston Sculley (MS 2011)

did post-doc in Oceanography at A&M                    worked 2011-2012 as MMO for RPS Group

also worked at Flower Gardens Marine Reserve         then entered PhD program at U Miami, Fall 2012

as marine tech on Manta & as master of Fling          (PhD expected from U Miami, 2016)


Kerri J. Smith (MS 2012)                                     Roxanne Duncan (MS 2012)

worked 2012 for East Coast Observers                     worked 2012-2013 for SE Fishery Science Center

and worked other contractor jobs 2013-2015             (NOAA Nat’l Marine Fisheries Service, Miami, FL)

(I think KJS entered PhD program, Fall 2015)          then MARES-EU PhD program (Belgium, Fall 2013)


Stephanie M. Durkacz (MS 2014)                           Lindsay M. Martin (MS 2016)

worked 2015 as contractor for TDI Brooks               hired by Seamester (2016) as Instructor MarBiol & OCNG

then (2016) as RA in a lab in BIOL at A&M                        for cruises in Caribbean and Eastern Pacific

and was hired (2017) by CA Fish & Wildlife 

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