Dzaugis Receives Award for Excellence in Graduate Research


The University of Rhode Island presented URI Foundation Excellence Awards to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the areas of teaching, scholarship, administration and staff service. GSO graduate student Mary Dzaugis received the award for Graduate Student Research & Scholarship Excellence Award in the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Through her research, Mary Dzaugis has advanced the field of oceanography and areas well beyond it. The Holden, Mass. resident’s work has increased our understanding of sub-seafloor life, chemical hazards in nuclear waste facilities, and the potential of subsurface life on other worlds, particularly Mars. Her work has already had an extraordinary range of scholarly impact. The breadth of her research is illustrated by the diversity of journals in which she has already published: Frontiers in Microbiology (life sciences), Radiation Physics and Chemistry (physical sciences and engineering), PreCambrian Research (Earth and life sciences), and The Journal of Paleontology (Earth and life sciences). Dzaugis has demonstrated significant scientific leadership through her fieldwork.

She was particularly important to a 2014 North Atlantic research expedition on the Research Vessel Knorr. All of the senior expeditionary scientists agreed that she rose to the occasion of the expedition and stood out among a very large, strong group of participants to lead her shipboard research team. A senior scientist from this expedition said Dzaugis would be one of the first people he would recruit for a future cruise. She has played a very positive role in graduate student life at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography, through the graduate student organization and as a teaching assistant for oceanography courses enrolling 90 students.

Dzaugis has also done an extraordinary job of bringing her research to the broader Rhode Island community. She has enthusiastically participated in many public engagement opportunities, working with Guiding Education in Math and Science (GEMS-Net), Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), and GSO’s Office of Marine Programs to improve science literacy of K-12 students, teachers and families.

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862