Current People

Rob Hetland Professor hetland at

Rob Hetland is a Professor in the Dept of Oceanography, Texas A&M University. His research is focused on numerical simulation of flow in estuarine, coastal, and continental shelf environments; applications include examining plankton bloom dynamics, formation and destruction of continental shelf hypoxia, and real-time surface current forecasting. For more information, click here.

Kristen Thyng Assistant Research Scientist kthyng at

Kristen attended Whitman College for her bachelor degree in physics, graduating in 2005, before headed back to Seattle where she is from to attend the University of Washington. There, she studied applied mathematics for her masters degree (2007), then earned her PhD in mechanical engineering in 2012. She joined PONG in 2012. For more information, see her website.

DJ Kobashi Postdoctoral Research Associate d.kobashi at

DJ moved to the United States to pursue a doctoral degree at LSU after he completed his masters degree from Tokai University in Japan. He is interested in coastal dynamics and its links to ecosystems and human activities. He joined PONG in February 2014 after he worked at NOAA in DC and then spent 4 years in Australia where he studied climate adaptation and coastal physical processes (internal tides and mixing in shallow coastal waters) by means of field measurements and numerical modeling. For more information, see his website.

Lixin Qu Grad Student lixinqu at

Lixin attended college at Ocean University of China and Shandong University in China, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Information and Computing Science in 2011. After graduation, he moved from School of Mathematical Sciences to College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences to continue the graduate study at Ocean University of China. He received a Master of Science in Physical Oceanography in June 2014 and is currently a Ph.D. student in Oceanography at Texas A&M University. His research interests are coastal circulation forecasting, river plume dynamics, ocean turbulence associated with coastal mixing processes, data assimilation, and theory and numerical simulation of flow in estuarine, coastal, and continental shelf environments. For more information, see his website.

Veronica Ruiz Xomchuk Grad Student vrx at

Veronica received her bachelor degree in Oceanography from ESPOL University in Ecuador, and then she attended Gent University in Belgium for her masters degree (2003). For many years her research focused on sandy beach benthos ecosystems in Ecuador, spending her time between field work and multivariate statistical analysis. In 2012 she started working at the Oceanographic Research Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy (INOCAR), were here career path changed. As part of the development of an integrated early warning system for the Ecuadorian coast, she participated in the implementation of a forecast system based on ocean numerical models.

Thrilled by the potential of numerical models, and how they can be used to better understand the dynamics of complex ecological systems, Veronica is back in grad school as a Ph.D student, joining PONG in September 2014. For more information, click here.

Xiliang Diao Grad Student xiliangdiao at

Xiliang Diao received both his bachelor degree in Oceanography (2014) and master degree in Physical Oceanography (2017) from Ocean University of China. Currently he is a Ph.D. student in Oceanography in Texas A&M University (from 2017.9). His research interests are coastal circulation observation and numerical simulation, environmental impact appraisal, and material tracking (oil spills).


Tingting Zu Postdoctoral Research Associate zutt at

Tingting is back at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences as an Associate Research Professor.

Arthur Ramos Grad Student aearamos at

Arthur is back in Brazil, looking for gainful employment.

Hui Wu Postdoctoral Research Associate

Back in his home institution: hwu at

Wenxia Zhang Ph.D. Student

Currently working as a postdoctoral research associate at Dalhousie

Xiaopei Lin Visiting Scholar

Back in his home institution.

Kelly Cole Ph.D. Student

Currently working as a postdoctoral research associate at U Maine.

Zengrui Rong Postdoctoral Research Associate

Currently working as a lecturer and research scientist at OUC in China.

Zhaoru Zhang Ph.D. Student

Currently working as a research scientist in China at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Xiaoqian Zhang Research Scientist

Currently at Fugro.

Marcus Ogle Masters Student

Currently at Fugro.

Martinho Marta-Almeido Postdoctoral Research Associate

Currently a researcher in Portugal.

Willington Renteria Masters Student

Currently back at INOCAR in Ecuador.

Sudeshna Lahiry Masters Student

Currently a teacher in Houston.

Song-ho Baek Doctoral Student

Currently back in the Korean Navy.