TWRI names two professors Faculty Fellows, awards federal funding

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has named two Texas A&M University professors 2022 Faculty Fellows, awarding $15,000 in federal funding to each faculty member to support their research: Yina Liu, Ph.D., an assistant professor from the Department of Oceanography and Xingmao ‘Samuel’ Ma, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, each for proposals related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The Fellows program provides unique funding support for faculty researchers seeking further external funding. Upon completion of the year, each fellow will submit a larger proposal to external agencies in the hopes of securing large-scale funding grants to continue and expand their project efforts. In addition, it is expected that these faculty will be able to expand their network of collaborators by working with multidisciplinary teams during this process.

Ma’s research aims to see how new methods could help remove short chain PFAS from water sources, using atomically dispersed iron catalyst supported on biochar.

Liu seeks to better understand how certain PFAS compounds travel through different types of soil, to surface and groundwater supplies. Liu also will test how PFAS experiencing dry periods in soil react to sudden heavy rain and flooding conditions.

Funding for this fellowship opportunity is provided through the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Resources Research Act program annual base grant funding. Proposals can deal with a range of water resource topics.

TWRI’s Faculty Fellows Program is currently accepting applications for the Sept. 1, 2023 – Aug. 31, 2024, project period applications close Feb. 1, 2023, and are open to all faculty within the Texas A&M University System. For more information, see the program’s web page.


Cameron Castilaw is a communication specialist at the Texas Water Resources Institute. She works with the communications team to create social media content, write for TWRI’s various platforms and print projects, and find new ways to inform people of TWRI’s mission and programs.

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