Nancy RabalaisNancy Rabalais

Position: Professor, Shell Chair

Phone: 2255788531

Office: Room 3161, Energy, Coast and Environment Building

Bachelor's Degree(s): B.S. Texas A&I University, 1972 (Biology)
Master's Degrees(s): M.S. Texas A&I University, 1975 (Biology)
Ph.D.(s): Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin, 1983 (Zoology)




Biological oceanography-continental shelf ecosystems influenced by large rivers; land ocean interactions Coastal eutrophication; distribution, dynamics and effects of hypoxia Animal/sediment relationships; pelagic-benthic coupling Multiple stressors on ecosystems Integration of science and policy


4005 – Changing Coastal Oceans (distance learning)


MacArthur Fellow, 2012 Peter Benchley Award for Excellence in Science, Blue Frontier Organization, 2012 Rachel Carson Lecture, American Geophysical Union, 2012 Heinz Award, 2011 Clarke Prize, National Water Resources Institute, 2008 Ruth Patrick Award, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, 2008 Ocean Studies Board, National Research Council, Member 2000-2005; Chair 2002-2005 B. H. Ketchum Award, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2002 National Associate, National Academies of Science, 2001 Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellow, 1999 Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2013 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995


Member-at-Large, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences Board Member, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Member, Fleet Improvement Committee, University National-Laboratory Oceanographic System


Rabalais, N.N., Cai, W.-J., J. Carstensen, D.J. Conley, B. Fry, X. Quiñones-Rivera, R. Rosenberg, C.P. Slomp, R.E. Turner, M. Voss, B. Wissel, and J. Zhang. 2014. Eutrophication-driven deoxygenation in the coastal ocean. Oceanography, 70: 123-133.

Obenour, D. R., D. Scavia, N. N. Rabalais, R. E. Turner and A. M. Michalak. 2013. A retrospective analysis of mid-summer hypoxic area and volume in the northern Gulf of Mexico, 1985-2011. Environmental Science and Technology 47:9808-9815.

Rabalais, N. N., R. J. Díaz, L. A. Levin, R. E. Turner, D. Gilbert and J. Zhang. 2010. Dynamics and distribution of natural and human-caused coastal hypoxia. Biogeosciences 7:585-619.

Rabalais, N. N., R. E. Turner, B. K. Sen Gupta, D. F. Boesch, P. Chapman, and M. C. Murrell. 2007. Characterization and long-term trends of hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Does the science support the Action Plan? Estuaries and Coasts 30(5): 753-772.

Rabalais, N. N., N. Atilla, C. Normandeau and R. E. Turner.  2004.  Ecosystem history of Mississippi River-influenced continental shelf revealed through preserved phytoplankton pigments.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 49: 537-547.

Rabalais, N. N., R. E. Turner and W. J. Wiseman, Jr.  2002.  Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, a.k.a. “The Dead Zone.”  Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33: 235-263.

Rabalais, N. N., R. E. Turner, Q. Dortch, D. Justić, V. J. Bierman, Jr. and W. J. Wiseman, Jr.  2002.  Review. Nutrient-enhanced productivity in the northern Gulf of Mexico: past, present and future.  Hydrobiologia 475/476: 39-63.

Rabalais, N. N., R. E. Turner and D. Scavia.  2002.  Beyond science into policy: Gulf of Mexico hypoxia and the Mississippi River.  BioScience 52: 129-142.

Rabalais, N. N., R. E. Turner, D. Justić, Q. Dortch, W. J. Wiseman, Jr. and B. K. Sen Gupta.  1996.  Nutrient changes in the Mississippi River and system responses on the adjacent continental shelf.  Estuaries 19(2B): 386-407.

Turner, R. E. and N. N. Rabalais.  1994.  Coastal eutrophication near the Mississippi river delta.  Nature 368: 619-621.


Price, Andrea M., Melissa M. Baustian, R. Eugene Turner, Nancy N. Rabalais, and Gail L. Chmura (submitted Oct 2016) Dinoflagellate cysts track eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries and Coasts.

Rabalais, N.N. and R.E Turner. 2016. Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Oceanography 29(3):128-137.

Hu, X., W.-J. Cai, N. N. Rabalais, and J. Xue. 2016. Coupled oxygen and dissolved inorganic carbon dynamics in coastal ocean and its use as a potential indicator for detecting water column oil degradation. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 129: 311-318.

Price, Andrea M., Melissa M. Baustian, R. Eugene Turner, Nancy N. Rabalais, and Gail L. Chmura. 2016. Melitasphaeridium choanophorum – a living fossil in the Gulf of Mexico. Palynology (on line).

Mertens, Kenneth Neil, Haifeng Gu, Yoshihito Takano, Andrea M. Price, Vera Pospelova, Kara Bogus, Gerard Versteegh, Fabienne Marret, R. Eugene Turner, Nancy N. Rabalais, Kazumi Matsuoka. on line 4 April 2016. The cyst-theca relation of Trinovantedinium pallidifulvum, with erection of Protoperidinium lousianensis sp. nov. and their phylogenetic position within the Conica group, Palynology.

Bargu, Sibel, Melissa M. Baustian, Nancy N. Rabalais, Ross Del Rio, Benjamin Von Korff, R. Eugene Turner. 2016. Influence of the Mississippi River on Pseudo-nitzschia spp. abundance and toxicity in Louisiana coastal waters. Estuaries and Coasts 39: 1345-1356,

Luo, Zhaohe, Bernd Krock, Kenneth Neil Mertens, Andrea Michelle Price, Robert Eugene Turner, Nancy N. Rabalais, Haifeng, Gu. 2016. Review Morphology, molecular phylogeny and azaspiracid profile of Azadinium poporum (Dinophyceae) from the Gulf of Mexico. Harmful Algae 55:56-65. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2016.02.006

Wong, W.-H., N.N. Rabalais, R.E. Turner. 2016. Size dependent top down cokntrol on phytoplankton growth by microzooplankton in eutrophic lakes. Hydrobiologia 762: 97-108.

Gu, Haifeng, Luo, Zhaohe, Mertens, Kenneth, Price, Andrea, Turner, Eugene, Rabalais, Nancy 2015. Cyst-motile stage relationship, morphology, ultrastructure, and molecular phylogeny of the gymnodinioid dinoflagellate Barrufeta resplendenscomb. nov., formerly known as Gyrodinium resplendens, isolated from the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Phycology 51: 990-999.

Parsons, M., W. Morrison, N. N. Rabalais, R. E. Turner. 2015. Phytoplankton and the Macondo oil spill: A comparison of the 2010 phytoplankton assemblage to baseline conditions on the Louisiana Shelf. Environmental Pollution 207:152-160.

Rabalais, N.N. 2015. Commentary: Human impacts on fisheries across the land-sea interface. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.