Dr. Conkle is an Associate Professor (starting Fall 2020) in the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry at Longwood University, an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston, a Ph.D. in Oceanography & Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University and was a Post-doctoral Scholar at the University of California Riverside. His research focuses on contaminant presence, fate and impacts in aquatic systems. Previous works examined contaminants like pharmaceuticals and personal care products in wastewater treatment wetlands and their uptake in crops irrigated with treated wastewater. One current project is quantifying treated wastewater in rivers and streams and how its contaminants may influence aquaculture. However, much of and Dr. Conkle's current research relates to plastic debris in rivers and coastal settings. This includes work quantifying microplastics in the Mississippi River and their discharge to the Gulf of Mexico, microplastics in Texas' rivers and bays and microplastic consumption by blue crabs. Additionally, over the last 2 years, Dr. Conkle was an expert witness for the Wilson vs Formosa Plastics Corporation trial. Formosa was found guilty, but before the award of damages, they agreed to the largest settlement ever for a Clean Water Act case brought by a private entity. They also agreed to zero future pellet discharge. More importantly, Dr. Conkle is a proud husband and father of 2 young boys.