Matthew P. Hoch


Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 205-12 Hayes Biology Building

Phone: 409-880-8264



1991 Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Biochemistry, University of Delaware

1985 B.A. in Environmental Population and Organismal Biology, University of Colorado

1992-1996 postdoctoral research, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University at the U.S. EPA, Gulf Coast Ecology Research Laboratory, Gulf Breeze, Florida

Recent Courses Taught:

Tropical Marine Biology (BIOL 4401/5401) and Tropical Watershed Ecology (BIOL 4401/5401)

Environmental Microbiology (BIOL 4437/5437)

Microbiology (BIOL 2420)

General Biology (BIOL 1308; BIOL 1406)

Environmental Toxicology (BIOL 4435/5435)

Biological Oceanography (BIOL 4401/5401)

Research Interests:

The ecology of aquatic microbial communities; specifically sulfate reducing prokaryotes in salt marsh sediments, bacterioplankton in Lake Sabine Estuary, and finfish microbiomes.  Watershed ecology, with focus on assessment of water quality, periphyton, macroinvertebrates, and fish in stream ecosystems.  Nitrogen cycling and the role of nitrogen limitation on bacterioplankton and periphyton communities.

Current projects in need of student assistance:

  • Understanding changes in diversity of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRBs) in coastal marsh sediments in response to relative sea level rise and seawater intrusion, subsequent marsh decline, and sediment-subsidy restoration.

  • Defining microbiomes (communities of resident microbes) on mucosal membrane surfaces of Mugil cephalus (striped mullet) as a first step to understand the microbial role in fish health under different environmental conditions.

  • Studying physicochemical controls of bacterioplankton and phytoplankton communities in the Sabine Lake Estuary, a shallow well-mixed turbid estuary dominated by freshwater inflows, and the role of benthic coupling.

  • Assessing stream continuum concepts in tropical watersheds of the Maya Mountains in Belize Central America as part of the Tropical Biology Program.  Additional work on the nutrient controls of periphyton communities in streams of Belizean watersheds with granitic versus limestone geology is planned.

Undergraduates interested in participating in these research programs please contact Dr. Hoch for further information. 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Hoch, M.P., C.Y.S. Siu, S.E. Clark, and K.H. Baker.  2009.  Codorus Creek Restoration - A Case Study for the Chesapeake Bay.  Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers, American Society of Civil Engineers. pp 1-7.

Hoch, M.P.  2008. Enzymatic assessment of nitrogen and phosphorus bioavailability to stream periphyton communities at different velocity regimes. J. Freshwater Ecol. 23(2): 245-264.

Hoch, M. P., K. S. Dillon, R. B. Coffin, and L. A. Cifuentes.  2008. Sensitivity of bacterioplankton nitrogen metabolism to eutrophication in sub-tropical coastal waters of Key West, Florida.  Mar. Poll. Bull. 56(5): 913-926.

Hoch, M.P. and D. A. Bronk.  2007.  Bacterioplankton nutrient metabolism in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. J Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.  439: 390-404.

Eaton, W.D., V. Palacio, E. vanZinderenBakker, and M.P. Hoch. 1999. Nutrient and microbial analysis of watersheds above and below the Mollejon Dam, Belize. Mesoamerican Society for Conservation and Biology, Mesoamericana. 4(4): 20-24.

Hoch, M.P., R.A. Snyder, L.A. Cifuentes, and R.B. Coffin. 1996. Stable isotope dynamics of nitrogen recycled during interactions among marine bacteria and protists. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 132: 229-239.

Hoch, M.P. and D.L. Kirchman. 1995. Ammonium uptake by bacteria in the Delaware Estuary and coastal water. Limnol. Oceanogr. 40: 886-897.

Hoch, M.P., M.L. Fogel, and D.L. Kirchman. 1992. Isotope fractionation associated with ammonium uptake by a marine bacterium. Limnol. and Oceanogr. 37(7): 1447-1459.