San Marcos Aquatic Resource Center
Southwest Region

Contact Information & Staff

Contact Us

Mailing address:
San Marcos NFH/TC
500 East McCarty Lane
San Marcos, Texas 78666

Phone: (512) 353-0011
Fax: (512) 353-0856

Monday through Friday - 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday - Closed
Federal Holidays - Closed

For directions to the hatchery and an area map, go to our Visitor Information page.

Our Staff

Tom Brandt, Ph.D., Center Director

Expertise:  Fish nutrition, feeds, and feeding.  Fish nutritional research with channel catfish led to working with baitfish species, largemouth bass, striped bass, paddlefish, darters and salamanders.  His research in recent years has focused on the effects of aquatic nuisance species on listed species.  Dr. Brandt also is involved with aquatic rearing systems and facility development.

Kenneth G. Ostrand, Ph.D., Deputy Center Director

Expertise: Aquatic ecology and fisheries science. Dr. Ostrand’s research integrates the fields of physiology (e.g. bioenergetics, osmoregulatory, reproductive, and stress related biochemical processes), behavior (e.g. migration, microhabitat use, inter-and intra-specific competition), and ecology (e.g. alternate life history strategies, population dynamics, community interactions) linking basic science to applied questions.

Marta Estrada, Administrative Officer

Expertise: Provides administrative assistance with personnel, timekeeping, facility record keeping, budget management, procurement, and travel related actions in support the SMARC mission.

Lisa Griego-Lyon, Administrative Technician

Expertise: Provides assistance with budget management, procurement of supplies and other clerical duties to support the SMARC mission.

Jeffery T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Botanist

Expertise: Conservation and ecology of native aquatic and riparian plants, habitat restoration, and non-native plant control methods using integrated pest management. His research is focused on maintaining refugia of Texas wild rice ex-situ using various culture methods. Other research areas include long-term monitoring of Texas wild rice and non-native aquatic plant populations on the San Marcos River and other river systems within the Edward’s Plateau, applied management for control of aquatic and riparian non-native plants on listed plants, and native plant propagation to supplement restoration of disturbed habitats.

Randy Gibson, M.S., Fish Biologist

Expertise: Invertebrate zoology and aquatic biology.  Mr. Gibson’s research background is primarily on invertebrate communities of springs in east, central, and west Texas and threatened and endangered species of the Edwards Aquifer (e.g. Devils River minnow, Comal Springs riffle beetle, Comal Springs dryopid beetle, and Peck’s cave amphipod).  He is currently working on captive breeding strategies for these listed species and working with others to learn more about the rare and relatively unknown spring and cave invertebrates of Texas.

Valentin Cantu, M.S., Fish Biologist

Expertise:  Aquatic salamander culture.  Mr. Cantu is involved in designing and constructing refugium systems; monitoring, collecting, and culturing listed fishes and salamanders; monitoring and assessing the health risk of exotic trematodes to fountain darters; eradicating an exotic invasive aquatic macrophyte from the San Marcos River; and aquatic macrophyte restoration in the San Marcos River.

Patricia Echo-Hawk, B.S., Region 2 Dive Officer

Expertise: Marine biology and animal husbandry . Patricia has experience in marine mammal husbandry, fish, mussel, plant and salamander culture, as well as toxicity studies. She is involved with the care and propagation of native Texas endangered and threatened species of salamanders, fish, mussels and plants, as well as the monitoring and removal of invasive aquatic species.  She has over 25 years experience in Scuba diving and manages all FWS SCUBA activities for Region 2.

Leah Murray, B.S., Botanist

Expertise: Native Seed Collection and Storage. Leah has worked as a botanist and seed collector for Seeds of Success, Project Baseline, and the Conservation and Lang Management Program through Chicago Botanic Gardens. She is working to create and seed bank and herbaria of the flora of the San Marcos River. Her research efforts include developing a management protocol for Texas Wild Rice, as well as working with other federally listed species in the Central Texas Region.

Justin Crow, B.S., Biological Sciences Technician Student Trainee

Expertise: Marine and freshwater biology and aquaculture systems. Justin has experience in the husbandry of aquatic salamanders and fish, the construction and maintenance of aquaculture systems and research focusing on the environmental factors that affect aquatic animal physiology. Justin's current research focuses on the effects of temperature changes and exposure to common aquatic toxins (e.g. nitrite, ammonia and PAH's) in stenothermal plethodontid salamanders.

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Last updated: December 23, 2014