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.

Tingting Zu Postdoctoral Research Associate zutt at

Tingting studied physical oceanography for her bachelor and master degrees in the Ocean University of China, and then got her PhD in marine environmental science in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She joined PONG as a visiting scholar in March 2016. She is interested in the physical processes related with the shelf and coastal circulations, and interactions between mean flow and eddies. She tries to understand the dynamics by numerical modeling experiments with momentum and energy budget analysis.

Arthur Ramos Grad Student aearamos at

Arthur has a bachelor degree in Oceanography from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil. During his undergrad he took an internship at the Paulo Moreira Admiral Sea Studies Institute, where he worked with ocean modeling and the Cabo Frio upwelling system. In 2012 he started working at the Brazilian Navy as a researcher at the Oceanographic Modeling and Observation Network, a Brazilian effort in physical oceanography to better understand and study the Brazilian coast. Part of his job was to develop a forecast system to the Northeast of Brazil based ocean numerical models such as ROMS and HYCOM.

Looking for a deeper understanding of numerical models, as well as how they can be used in data assimilation, Arthur joined PONG in January 2015 as a Msc. student.

Lixin Qu Grad Student lixinqu at

Lixin studied mathematics at Ocean University of China (OUC) and Shandong University in China, and received his bachelor degree in mathematics from OUC in 2011. Then he moved to physical oceanography for his graduate study at OUC. During his master, he worked with the warm current system in the Yellow Sea and numerical modeling of flow in coastal and shelf environments.

After earning his master degree in 2014, he joined PONG as a Ph.D student. His research interests are coastal dynamics, coastal simulation and their applications in ecological environments. Ongoing research focuses on the effect of high-frequency wind forcing on the evolution of river plume.

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.


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.