College of Marine Sciences & Maritime Studies

Texas A&M-Galveston’s Dr. David Wells Named 2020 EDGES Fellow


Texas A&M University at Galveston is excited to announce our very own Associate Professor Dr. David Wells ’02 of the Department of Marine Biology has been named a 2020 Chancellor Enhancing Development and Generating Excellence in Scholarship (EDGES) Fellow.

Wells started as a teaching assistant on the Galveston Campus in 2000 when he was working on his master’s degree. In 2002 he earned his M.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science at Texas A&M University and later completed his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University in 2007. He worked for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Center in San Diego, CA before joining the faculty roster full time in 2012 as an assistant professor.

Wells poses against a poster of some of the marine animals he's dedicated his life to studying, sharks.
Wells poses against a poster of some of the marine animals he’s dedicated his life to studying, sharks.

Over the past eight years, Wells has established the Shark Biology & Fisheries Science Lab, where he and his research team study the biology and ecology of sharks and bony fishes throughout marine ecosystems.

Most recently, Wells has worked on a variety of projects involving movement of fishes using electronic and natural tags, feeding ecology and food web dynamics, and life history of species in the Gulf of Mexico and other ocean basins.

Studies involving the movement and connectivity of fishes within different ocean systems is a driver for Wells, but so is working with his close colleagues and graduate students.

He advises new Texas A&M-Galveston faculty to be patient and stay the academic course.

“There’s definitely a process to building a lab and research program from scratch and I’m very humbled to be recognized with this award. When you get recognized like this, it makes you want to keep working hard and doing what you enjoy. At the end of the day, writing grants and publications is pretty important, but it’s also exciting to help prepare students and post-docs for the job market and following their success once they move on,” he said.

Wells is excited about the doors the fellowship could open for him and his research.

“The research we do is exciting whether it’s here in our backyard in Galveston Bay or across an ocean basin. My hope is this award will provide a spark for some new projects locally in the Gulf of Mexico and the ability to continue building new domestic and international connections and relationships to ultimately bring in new funding and projects to the lab and university.”

Dr. Patrick Louchouarn, Executive Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Texas A&M University-Galveston, and Associate Provost, Texas A&M University says Wells is more than worthy of such recognition.

“I am delighted to witness the success of faculty like Dr. Wells, whose cross-disciplinary approach is an example of the thinking science needs today. This is a high honor and highlights the exceptional nature of his work,” Louchouarn said. “Dr. Wells is a great example of a modern scientist who incorporates a multitude of tools, once limited to specific fields, to better define the complex fields of fish biology, ecology and sustainability of fisheries resources. He is as adept in the conventional fisheries field as he is using telemetry sensors, understanding how physical oceanographic conditions affect food web structure, and using chemical markers to track animal movements and ecotoxicology. This is intellectual leadership that advances our understanding of the world and its natural resources.”

Texas A&M-Galveston’s inaugural EDGES Fellow was the Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science’s Dr. Karl Kaiser.

Initiated by the Texas A&M University Provost and Executive Vice President in 2019 to support and honor mid-career faculty making notable contributions to their respective disciplines, EDGES fellowships are awarded to faculty members with national and international acclaim and careers that are on-track for membership in national academies or other similar institutions with recognitions of high acclaim.

This award joins endeavors like the Presidential Impact Fellowships and other faculty investment programs to empower and advance the careers of faculty at every level.

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