The 15th annual Marine Biology Student Research Colloquium was held on September 23 and 24, 2011. The colloquium featured keynote speaker Dr. John Bruno, a marine ecologist and Associate Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Bruno’s research focuses on marine biodiversity, coral reef ecology and conservation, and the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. Thirteen marine biology and environmental studies students gave oral presentations of their research at the colloquium. Kristin Stover received the best oral presentation award for her talk “Performance changes when exposed to varying oxygen levels in the Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun.” Additionally, seventeen students presented posters of their thesis research this year. Timothy O’Donnell received the best poster presentation award for his research “Characterizing the genetic population structure and genetic influences of winter-kill events in spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) in South Carolina.” The colloquium concluded with a cookout and Lowcountry Boil for students, professors, and attendees at the SCDNR outdoor classroom.
The Burnett lab was featured on the NSF website on Oct 6th. Follow the link to discover more about their research.
Many different groups at the College will be able to take part in the different stages of the project including: Master of Environmental Studies Student Association (MESSA), Urban Agriculture (UA), GML Community Outreach Research and Learning (CORAL) Program, CofC Grounds Department, Clemson Extension and Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium. The composter provided by this grant will be supplied with organic material from the on-site kitchen and grounds maintenance. The first crop will consist of native plants, vegetables and herbs. The produce collected from the garden will be donated to a food shelter to benefit the local community. The garden will serve as an educational tool for the public and students and as a potential research resource for lab-based instruction or research projects.
Planting the Green Teaching Garden at Grice will serve to strengthen the ties between the marine lab's remote location and the downtown campus. It will provide unique opportunities to expand existing educational and outreach efforts. In addition to GML hosting hundreds of visitors annually, the Grice CORAL program works to educate more than 2400 people about marine biology each year. Multiple student groups have expressed interest in helping with GTG construction, upkeep, and outreach efforts. Faculty members of the School of Science and Mathematics have expressed interest in incorporating the GTG into their teaching curriculum.
GML and the MBSGA have a history of using interdisciplinary approaches to science education. During the recent SEWE event, we partnered with a local gallery to provide an aquarium exhibit featuring both live animals from local estuaries as well as the artwork of select Lowcountry wildlife artists. This innovative platform offers many possible collaborative opportunities with other schools at the College including Art, Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Owen's Lab and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (Dr. Al Segars and GPMB alumni Jeff Schwenter) recently resumed long term collaboration with researchers from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. They captured and did ultrasound as well as laparoscopic evaluations on approximately 20 adult size sea turtles. Only four of the sea turtles were sexually mature and ready for reproduction out of the 20 turtles examined. These turtles were fitted with new generation GPS enhanced satellite transmitters. Their migrations can be checked daily at this website.
Dr. Stephen Palumbi , keynote speaker at the 2010 College of Charleston’s Graduate Program in Marine Biology Colloquium, has recently published a book with Carolyn Sotka in November 2010. "The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival" co-authored by Steve and Carolyn is now widely available online for purchase. Carolyn Sotka has also donated two copies of the book to the Marine Resources Library for anyone to check out. For more information please visit this website. A brief summary of the book is listed below.
"The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival" (Summary)
Anyone who has ever stood on the shores of Monterey Bay, watching the
rolling ocean waves and frolicking otters, knows it is a unique place.
But even residents on this idyllic California coast may not realize its
full history. Monterey began as a natural paradise, but became the
poster child for industrial devastation in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row,
and is now one of the most celebrated shorelines in the world.
It is a remarkable story of life, death, and revival told here for the
first time in all its stunning color and bleak grays. The Death and Life
of Monterey Bay begins in the eighteenth century when Spanish and French
explorers encountered a rocky shoreline brimming with life, raucous sea
birds, abundant sea otters, barking sea lions, halibut the size of wagon
wheels, waters thick with whales. A century and a half later, many of
the sea creatures had disappeared, replaced by sardine canneries that
sickened residents with their stench but kept the money flowing. When
the fish ran out and the climate turned, the factories emptied and the
community crumbled. But today, both Monterey's economy and wildlife are
resplendent. How did it happen?
The answer is deceptively simple: through the extraordinary acts of
ordinary people. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay is the biography of
a place, but also of the residents who reclaimed it. Monterey is
thriving because of an eccentric mayor who wasn't afraid to use pistols,
axes, or the force of law to protect her coasts. It is because of
fishermen who love their livelihood, scientists who are fascinated by
the sea's mysteries, and philanthropists and community leaders willing
to invest in a world-class aquarium. The shores of Monterey Bay revived
because of human passion that enlivens every page of this hopeful book.
Dr. Allan Strand received a Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This is a collaborative grant aimed at engaging undergraduate students with answering genomic questions in an environmental context. Research will be focused on building a database of complex phenotypes for plant knockout mutants.
College of Charleston’s summer research experience for undergraduates (REU) program yields promising results. Robin Garcia published her summer undergraduate research work in the Fall 2010 edition of MarSci. This on-line journal specilizes in publishing undergraduate research manuscripts pertaining to the
marine and aquatic sciences. Students interested in writing a manuscript based on their undergraduate research experience and engaging in the process of submission and publication can do this via MarSci. This is a unique learning experience that is not typically available to most undergraduate scientists.
The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) has been a part of the Charleston culture for almost 30 years. It promotes conservation and preservation of nature through educational outreach programs with a focus on the visual arts. This event attracts the world’s foremost experts in wildlife and nature art. Interdisciplinary approaches to learning are the hallmark of a liberal arts education. In this spirit, the Grice Marine Laboratory partnered with Michael Mitchell Art Gallery located at 438 King Street for a special 2011 SEWE event. The aquarium exhibit featured live animals from local estuaries in combination with the art work of select Lowcountry wildlife artists. The exhibit was open 11am-6pm from Wednesday, February 16 through Sunday, February 20, 2011. In addition, a Kickoff Party was held on Wednesday, February 16 from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm where donations were collected. A portion of the proceeds from art work sold and donations collected will benefit the College of Charleston’s Graduate Program in Marine Biology (GPMB). Grice staff and GPMB students were present to assist with the event and answer questions about the animals.
College of Charleston’s graduate students in marine biology began the New Year presenting their research at various conferences around the country. Mark Stratton recently presented his research at the Southern Division American Fisheries Society meeting in Tampa, Florida from January 13-16, 2011. This year’s meeting was titled “Fisheries Connectivity: Headwaters to Oceans". Mark’s poster, “Application of community indicators to the snapper grouper complex in southeastern U.S. Atlantic continental shelf waters" was a part of a special symposium titled "Southeast Reef Fishes".
On January 20, 2011 the 5th annual Graduate Student Research Poster Session took place on the downtown campus. The following marine biology graduate students presented posters: Jenn Bennett, Walter Blair, Casey Darling, Cameron Doll, Anna Manyak, David Shiffman, Sammi Smoot, Mark Stratton and Kristen Stover. David Shiffman won an award for the best marine biology poster. This poster session highlights the graduate research of multiple disciplines. This year there were 29 entries from Communication, Education, English, Environmental Studies, History, Marine Biology, and Public Administration.
The Grice Marine Lab had a high profile at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), held January 3 – 7, 2011, in chilly Salt Lake City, UT. Fourteen faculty members, postdocs, grad and undergrad students presented their research findings and mingled with more than 1400 other conferees at the Salt Palace Convention Center. New faculty member Dr. Andrew Clark chaired a well-attended afternoon session on “Adhesion and Locomotor Substrate Effects.” In other sessions, Dr. Alison Welch reported on body condition in gray tree frogs, while Dr. Agnes Ayme-Southgate linked molecular biology to the biomechanics of insect flight muscle and Dr. Eric McElroy revealed the impacts of tail autonomy on locomotion in grass lizards. Dr. Bob Podolsky, graduate student Sammi Smoot, and undergraduates Diego Castro and Gabe Segarra presented their data on antimicrobial and antipredator defenses and tether strength in molluscan egg masses. Graduate students Nat Johnson, Kris Stover and Casey Darling discussed their work with Drs. Lou and Karen Burnett on antimicrobial and antioxidant defenses and on locomotion in crustaceans. Burnett lab postodoctoral fellow Dr. Kristin Hardy summarized recent studies on molecular adaptations to hypoxia in blue crabs. Outside the formal sessions, the Grice group took advantage of opportunities to network and discuss the research with their peers and enjoy some of the local sites and even, for some, a little skiing.
On Saturday December 18, 2010 the College of Charleston held its Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. Congratulations to Melanie Hedgespeth and Tucker Williamson for the completion of their Masters of Science degrees in the following areas:
Melanie Hedgespeth – An Assessment of the Presence and Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) Found in Treated Wastewater Discharges into Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. (Advisor: Ed Wirth – NOAA/HML).
Two brand new battery recycling receptacles have been added to the Grice Marine Laboratory. One container is located in the dorm kitchen and the other is in the stairwell of the main entrance. Please help us to keep Grice green by bringing in your recyclable batteries.
Grice Marine Laboratory students, faculty and staff took part in the Lowcountry’s 2010 Beach/River Sweep. Partnering with the surrounding Fort Johnson community, over seven miles of beach was cleared of trash (Fort Johnson, Fort Sumter/Grice Beach, Morris Island and Shutes Folly). Three truckloads of garbage were collected as well as one truckload of recyclables. The most abundant trash items collected were food and beverage containers. When enjoying the beauty and activities that Charleston Harbor offers please help us to keep our ecosystem pristine and be mindful of your garbage. Thank you to all who participated in the beach cleanup.
South Carolina Aquarium’s very first rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle was recaptured this summer off the Georgia coast; this is only the second recapture out of over fifty releases. Loggerheads are endangered sea turtles and each summer many large females visit Charleston’s beaches to nest. The adult male loggerhead recaptured was considered healthy and ready to mate. Dr. David Owens, professor and researcher at the College of Charleston, considers this recapture after a decade to be remarkable. Nicknamed “Stinky,” this loggerhead is proof that rehabilitation does indeed work. Read more about Stinky’s story or track other sea turtle's travels.
The Marine Biology Graduate Student Colloquium was held on September 24-25, 2010. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Win Watson from the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Watson’s studies include neurophysiology, ecology and behavior of marine organisms. His keynote address was on Friday, September 24 followed by a poster session and social. Student oral presentations took place on Saturday, September 25 followed by Dr. Watson’s closing address. Additionally on Saturday, there was a Colloquium Social featuring Lowcountry Boil held at the Outdoor Classroom during which the new students were introduced. Many graduate students in Marine Biology presented their research. The 2010 Marine Biology Graduate Student Colloquium showcased the student’s hard work and dedication to the marine science field. Thank you for joining us in support of the students and the exciting research conducted in the Fort Johnson community. Follow the 2010 Colloquium link above for a detailed event schedule and to review the poster and presentation abstracts.
Dr. Louis and Karen Burnett presented their research findings at the Global Change and Global Science: Comparative Physiology in a Changing World conference of the American Physiological Society this August in Colorado. The Burnett Laboratory studies the effects of high carbon dioxide and low oxygen levels on marine organisms. Organisms with environmental stresses as these have been shown to display a decrease in their metabolism and are unable to efficiently fight off infections. The marine organisms they study are accustomed to environmental stresses such as these and are still showing compromised immune systems. Therefore, it is shocking to think of the stresses deep water organisms could be facing with decreased oxygen levels coupled with high carbon dioxide. With scientists focusing their attention on the risks of ocean acidification, the Burnett laboratory’s research may provide a peak into these possible dangers the animals and their environments may face. For more information please visit the full article.
Dr. Scott Harris, a Geology professor at the College of Charleston, was interviewed by the ETV program The Big Picture. On Friday, August 5th, they discussed the Oil Spill in the Gulf and highlighted drilling for oil off the coast of South Carolina. According to Scott, the structure of the ocean floor off the South Carolina coast suggests that it would not supply substantial deposits of oil or natural gas. Therefore, it would be not economically viable to extract such energy sources from South Carolina’s outer shelf.
July has been an active month for interactions between humans and marine critters in South Carolina waters. A young tourist was bitten by a shark at Isle of Palms and many others were stung by jellyfish. A marine biology graduate student and adjunct faculty were interviewed by the Post and Courier, check it out!
Dr. Erik Sotka received a 2010 Fulbright Senior Scholarship and will conduct a study at the University of New South Wales in Australia on seaweed-herbivore interactions for the next four months. Please click here for more information about his study.
The marine conservation organization “Dive Into Your Imagination” has listed David Shiffman as a “Cool Scientist You Should Know.” David Shiffman is a Master’s candidate in the College of Charleston’s Graduate Program of Marine Biology. David’s pictures and interview are featured on the website. To read what he has to say about his current research at the Grice Marine Laboratory and his views on shark conservation please click here.
When will the oil make it to South Carolina’s coast? Nobody knows. Dr. Jack DiTullio, College of Charleston professor and oceanographer, communicated the difficulty of predicting which way the oil may travel. He explains how the physics of the ocean’s currents are erratic and quite complicated. Numerous scientists are working around the clock in order to predict different scenarios of oil travel. Dr. DiTullio believes that the winds would have to shift and come from the north in order for the oil to make it to South Carolina’s coast. For more information, please click here.
Dr. Louis Burnett, director of Grice Marine Laboratory and College of Charleston professor, has been named one of the College’s leading experts on the oil spill crisis. On May 18, 2010 he attended the Senate Commerce Committee in Washington, DC regarding this environmental catastrophe. Dr. Burnett expressed his concern for Charleston’s fragile marsh ecosystem, if the oil makes it further north. For more information, please click here.
Marine Biology Professor Dr. Gorka Sancho along with two geology professors, Dr Leslie Sautter and Dr. Scott Harris left for Bemuda on May 21, 2010. During this cruise, they will guide 16 college students through an indiviudal research project to investigate the southeast continental shelf or Gulf Stream. The voyage aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer, a 134-foot sailing vessel, will take 5 weeks. In addition to their research projects, the students will learn how to sail this amazing ship. You may view the video below for a glimse of the ship and the adventures to come.
On Friday May 7, 2010 the College of Charleston held its Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. Jared Ragland was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate for this spring’s graduating class. GPMB graduate Joe Pollock was featured in the CofC Graduate Class of 2010: Spotlight section for his accomplishments. The following GPMB graduates received awards for their achievements:
Jonathan Craft (marine biology) was awarded the Link Foundation/Smithsonian Institution Graduate Fellowship and the Lerner-Gray Grant for Marine Science. He also received the Student Presentation Award at the 2010 Benthic Ecology Meeting.
Jason Ferrante (marine biology) received the Slocum-Lunz Foundation Award and the Graduate School Research Presentation Grant.
Megan Kent (marine biology) received a second-place Best Poster Award at the 2009 World Aquaculture Society Conference and the first-place Student Oral Presentation Award at the triennial Aquaculture 2010. She also received the National Science Foundation’s East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship and will study in Taiwan during summer 2010.
Jared Ragland (marine biology) received first place for his poster presentation at the Carolinas Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He was also awarded the SETAC Student Travel Award.
Congratulations to the GPMB spring graduate class of 2010: Jennifer Fountain Baltzegar, Joy Gerhard, Kevin Huther, Megan Kent, Allison Kreutzer, Amanda McLenon, Lindsey Parent, Joe Pollock and Jared Ragland!
Iris Kemp is a graduating senior in the College of Charleston Honors College, with a marine biology major and a double minor in chemistry and psychology. She was recently presented with two South Carolina Academy of Science (SCAS) Sigma Xi Awards; one award for best oral presentation and the other for best poster presentation in the topics of Field Biology and Environmental Science and Biological Oceanography. She is the first SCAS participant to be given two awards in different topics within a single year.
Iris works on the systematics of the marine hatchetfish, Polyipnus tripanos, under the guidance of Dr. Antony Harold. Their analysis of this group produced strong evidence of a new species. She also completed an independent study based on data she had collected over the course of a previous summer research experience. That project focused on the effects of urban structure on fish distribution and density in the Hudson River and was mentored by Dr. Gorka Sancho.
On April 17, 2010 the Grice Marine Laboratory's Community Outreach Research and Learning program (C.O.R.A.L.) participated in the Charleston County Earth Day Festival. The celebration took place at Park Circle in North Charleston on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Pete Meier, accompanied by five graduate students, set up a touch tank with various marine organisms from Charleston Harbor. The festival brought in thousands of participants eager to experience Charleston's marine life hands-on with the Grice Marine Laboratory.
The Marine Biology Graduate Student Colloquium is scheduled for September 24-25, 2010. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Win Watson from the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Watson’s studies include neurophysiology, ecology and behavior of marine organisms. His keynote address will take place on Friday, September 24 followed by a poster session and social. Student oral presentations will take place on Saturday, September 25 followed by Dr. Watson’s closing address. Additionally on Saturday, there will be a Colloquium Social featuring Lowcountry Boil held at the Outdoor Classroom during which the new students will be introduced. Many graduate students in Marine Biology will be presenting their research. The 2010 Marine Biology Graduate Student Colloquium will showcase the student’s hard work and dedication to the marine science field. Please join us in supporting the students and the exciting research conducted in the Fort Johnson community. Follow the 2010 Colloquium link above for a detailed event schedule and to preview the poster and presentation abstracts. See your institutional representative for sign-up and payment for the Saturday evening social.
This lecture series is sponsored by Dr. George Grice III in memory of his father, Dr. George Grice, Jr. He was a well-known marine biologist who dedicated his life to the study of marine biology. Dr. Grice spent most of his career at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The laboratory was named in honor of the 14th president of the College, Dr. George D. Grice, the father of George D. Grice, Jr and grandfather of the sponsor.
This year the seminar was given on Friday, March 19th in the MRRI auditorium. The speaker was Dr. Richard Satterlie from University of North Carolina Wilmington. The title of the lecture was Neural Control of Jellyfish Swimming: A Tale of Two Georges. In addition to being an accomplished researcher, Dr. Satterlie is also an accomplished novelist. There was a lovely reception for the speaker after the seminar.
Shelly Brew was nominated as an Outstanding Staff Member for the 2010 Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards. These awards honor students, faculty, staff who promote diversity and excellence on the college campus. Shelly has been the Administrative Assistant for the Grice Marine Laboratory and the Graduate Program in Marine Biology since 2000. Her favorite part about her job is interacting with the students.
GPMB adjunct faculty member, Dr. A. Frederick Holland, received the 2009 Environmental Awareness Award on Wednesday, March 31, 2009. Mr. Scott English, Governor Mark Sanford’s Chief of Staff, presented the award on the Governor’s behalf at the Harbison State Forest Environmental Education Center. This award recognized Dr. Holland’s outstanding contributions toward the protection, conservation and improvement of the state’s coastal environment. Fred Holland was the director of the Marine Resources Research Institute (SCDNR) before he became the director of the Hollings Marine Laboratory (NOAA) in 2001. During his presentation, Mr. English said, “Fred Holland is not just a steward of natural resources in South Carolina, he is a pioneer and in some cases, a national trend-setter for protecting and preserving our coastal resources. Fred’s legacy is important for two reasons. He has been able to translate in-depth scientific research for policymakers and the average person in making decisions that affect our communities. At the same time, he has mentored a new generation of marine scientists who will carry on his work in marine sciences.”
Marine biology graduate student, David Shiffman, published an article titled “A Sea Change” in the Point of View section of the College of Charleston magazine. In this article David discusses how his passion for sharks led him to pursue a career in marine biology. In addition to his research, David writes about shark biology and conservation in the blog Southern Fried Science. Many species of sharks are threatened from the results of by-catch and overfishing. David hopes to educate the public on the value of sharks in his upcoming book titled Why Sharks Matter: The Ecological and Economic Importance of Sharks, Threats They Face, and How You Can Help.
Thanks to the efforts of Mike Haskins and Meredith English of the Department of Marketing and Communications, Grice has a new sign to identify our building. Modifications have also been made to the logos included on the signs of Hollings Marine Laboratory and the Marine Resources Research Institute.
Dr. Victor Burrell, an alumni and adjunct faculty member of the College of Charleston passed away on December 20, 2009. He researched and published several scientific papers and histories of important South Carolina fisheries. Dr. Burrell played an integral part in the organization of the South Carolina Fisheries Workers Association and served on the founding board of the South Carolina Aquarium. In 2007, he was chosen as the Fishery Conservationist of the Year by the South Carolina chapter of the American Fisheries Society. A memorial by Dave Bushek was published in the quarterly newsletter of the National Shellfish Association.
Creagrutus yanatili, a new species of Creagrutus tetra was discovered in southeastern Peru. Ichthyologists Dr. Antony Harold and Dr. Norma Salcedo successfully published their discovery of this new species in the journal of Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
Tetra fish species are described as small freshwater fishes belonging to the family Characidae. Due to their hardiness and bright colors, tetra fishes are quite popular with aquarists. Creagrutus yanatili differs from other Creagrutus species in South America due to its well developed papillae (small projections) that extend behind the head and its nearly black pigmentation that covers much of the fins and body of the fish. To view pictures of the expedition click here.
For more information regarding this exciting species description, please see the published journal article:
Harold, AS and NJ Salcedo (2009) Creagrutus yanatili, a new species from the Río Urubamba drainage, southeastern Peru (Teleostei: Characidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 20, pp. 377–383.
The 2010 Graduate Student Research Poster Session was held on Thursday, January 28. Congratulations to graduate students Nathaniel Johnson (GPMB) and Katherine Luciano (MES) for their recent poster awards. The fourth annual poster session was a huge success, featuring the research of 35 graduate students. Please visit the College of Charleston Graduate School blog and facebook page for details and pictures of the event.
A NIST Techbeat article titled Marine Lab Hunts Subtle Clues to Environmental Threats to Blue Crabs spotlights a collaborative research effort between National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the College of Charleston (CofC). The research group is using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to evaluate oxidative stress in the economically, ecologically and recreationally important species. The research conducted at the Hollings Marine Laboratory is discussed in detail in their recent Metabolomics publication.
The Grice Lab was well represented at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology in Seattle, Washington, January 3-7, 2010. Members of the Burnett, Podolsky and McElroy labs were among the more than 1700 attendees at the international scientific conference. The program included research presentations by undergraduates, graduate students and faculty, as well plenary talks by leading scientists, including Dr. Bruce Alberts, editor of Science magazine. Representing the Grice laboratory, graduate students Daniel Fernandes, Kolo Rathburn, Nat Johnson and Kris Stover gave oral presentations of their research, as did Drs. Bob Podolsky, Eric McElroy and Kristin Hardy. They also took some time before and after the meeting to enjoy the sites of Seattle, including the Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and even nearby Forks.
On January 16th, a group of 12 students from James Simmons Elementary School visited Fort Johnson and participated in the Grice Marine Lab’s CORAL (Community Outreach Research And Learning) program. It was a morning full of marine science education and fun. The students started at the bottom of the marine food chain by examining various plankton and invertebrates through microscopes. Moving up the chain, they watched as the fish in the display aquarium were fed grass shrimp. At the top of the food chain, they viewed a scorpion fish and a hammerhead shark from the Grice Collection. Our collection has about 350,000 specimens of fish and invertebrates used for teaching and research. The Grice tour finished with a touch tank experience in our wet lab.
In a collaborative outreach effort with the SC Department of Natural Resources, the students visited the Marine Resource Resources Institute (MRRI) with Dave Wyanski. In his tour of the MRRI lab, he discussed his work with the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction (MARMAP) Program. This project works with NOAA to conduct biological surveys and assessments used to evaluate the size, abundance and life history of reef fishes. The program has conducted ichthyoplankton surveys and trawl-based bottofish surveys in the past.
On Thursday, January 21st, CORAL also participated in the first annual Science Night on location at the James Simmons school. Our touch tank gives students the opportunity to interact directly with marine organisms. It creates a platform for education about marine life and provides discussion opportunities about the ocean and how it affects human health.
Students are returning from their holiday break and preparing for another semester at the Grice Marine Lab. Classes begin for the 2010 Spring Semester on Monday, January 11th. Courses for this semester include Oceanography, Biometry, Marine Molecular Ecology, Physical Oceanography and Biology of Fishes. Graduate students who have completed their coursework will be working on their thesis research. Our students have research opportunities at Grice or with one of the Fort Johnson partners including the SC Department of Natural Resources, Medical University of South Carolina, National Institute of Standards and Technology or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We have a new student joining the Graduate Program in Marine Biology this semester. Leah Fisher, originally from Sullivan's Island, SC, completed her B.S. at Duke University in May 2009. Welcome to the program, Leah!
M/SGT Clifford Ridgeway Davis, USAF (RET) passed away on Decmeber 11th, 2009 from pancreatic cancer. He donated his shell collection to the Grice Marine Laboratory in 2000 for display, enjoyment and study.
During his outstanding military career, he served throughout the world, including Okinawa, Vietnam, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, Turkey and several other locations in the Mediterranean. A decorated combat veteran, his assignments included being a combat medic and a member of the U.S. Air Force Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team during the Vietnam War as well as serving in the Special Operations/Delta Force. He collected all of the shells while enjoying one of his many professional responsibilities, Dive Master and underwater photographer for the USAF from 1966 to 1977. Most of the shells in his collection are from the western Pacific, especially Okinawa.
Mr. Davis also served as the Manager of the College of Charleston Motor Pool from 1992 to 1996. After his retirement, he was an active volunteer in the Charleston community and Veterans Affairs. Grice Marine Laboratory has lost a dear friend and he will be deeply missed.
This fall, Dr. Tina Bell joined the Sotka lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Tina received her Ph.D. in September 2009 from the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia. Her dissertation focused on the population genetics and evolution of feeding behavior in an herbivorous isopod Idotea baltica. Tina will use a newly-funded National Science Foundation grant to generate a phylogeny of herbivorous amphipods in the family Ampithoidae. This phylogeny will help clarify the taxonomic uncertainties within this group of important herbivores and to elucidate constraints on feeding preferences for chemically-rich seaweeds. Tina loves the color 'rainbow', she makes a mean pumpkin-chocolate brownie, and is now spending a lot of time with little cups of amphipods. Please welcome Tina when you get a chance.
In the Fall 2009 edition, a photoessay on the work spaces around campus highlighted Dr. Karen Burnett's collaborative research with NIST colleagues and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility at the Hollings Marine Laboratory. In the Life Academic section, an article titled A Sucker for the Little Guy focused on our resident parasitologist Dr. Isaure de Buron. She works closely with the SC Department of Natural Resources studying parasitic worms in Southern flounder and spotted sea trout. Another feature story, Guardian of the Sea, profiled GPMB graduate student Courtney Arthur and her work as a research analyst for NOAA. She is studying marine debris and its biological impact on marine ecosystems.
An article recently published by GPMB alum Lindy Thibodeaux in the Journal of Experimental Biology was featured as part of Inside the JEB. The piece highlighting her thesis work was titled Infected Crabs Breathe Easy During Exercise. Thibodeaux investigated the effects of bacterial infection on physical activity and respiration the Atlantic blue crab. In collaboration with Dr. Karen and Lou Burnett, she placed infected blue crabs on a treadmill and measured their oxygen consumption. The metabolic differences found between infected and non-infected animals were most unexpected.
Dr. Kristin Hardy completed her Ph.D. in Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington in 2009. Her dissertation research investigated the effects of diffusion on skeletal muscle metabolism and fiber design in Portunid swimming crabs. Her current research will focus on immunologic and metabolic response to anthropogenically induced environmental stressors in marine oyster, shrimp and crabs. She is an NOAA Oceans and Human Health Postdoctoral Scholar at the Hollings Marine Laboratory. As part of her training, she will develop an OHH curriculum directed to Minority Serving Institutes.
The Student Research Colloquium of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology (GPMB) was established in 1998, with the goals of increasing awareness of research activities by students and faculty affiliated with GPMB; providing graduate students with experience in making scientific presentations; and promoting interactions among faculty and students conducting research in marine biology. Dr. Erik Sotka stepped in the give the opening talk for Dr. Scott France of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Previously part of the CofC Department of Biology and Grice Marine Lab, Dr. France was unable to attend. A poster session and the Friday social was held on Septemer 25th, 2009. The poster presenters attended their posters from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the posters remained on display throughout the Colloquium. Several students received honorable mentions for their posters. On Saturday, student talks ran from 9-3:30, followed by the closing address at 4pm by Dr. Geoff Scott of the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research and the Hollings Marine Lab. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed Lowcountry Boil and the new students to the GPMB program were introduced to the Fort Johnson community. Melanie Hedgespeth won the award for best oral presentation. Please see the Colloquium Program for a detailed schedule and presentation abstracts.
The Colloquium gives the students an opportunity to practice their presentation skills and provides them with feedback to make improvements; it also allows faculty to recruit new students to their labs, and allows new students to review the research going on in various labs and consider their own future research. Also, undergraduates interested in graduate school can get a sense of what graduate school is all about.
Very nearly all marine graduate students, except those in their first year, presented their research this year - as you will see in the abstracts, it is an impressive array of marine research!
Oral Presentation Award
Distinguished Recognition for Colloquium Poster
Lindsey Parent and Joy Gerhard
Distinguished Recognition for Colloquium Poster of Proposal
Ryan Joyce and Tessa Bricker
Every year the Grice Marine Laboratory community participates in the Beach Sweep/River Sweep. Held from 9 a.m. to noon on the 3rd Saturday in September, we volunteer to clear the beaches and marshes around Grice of aquatic debris. The cleanup is organized by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Natural Resources and it occurs in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy. We collect debris data during the Sweep to be tallied by The Ocean Conservancy. These data help to locate sources of litter and to eliminate pollution at its source. You can see posted photos and review the debris data collected in 2007 on the S.C. Seagrant Consortium website.
Dr. Giacomo "Jack" DiTullio and Dr. Peter Lee recently published two articles in the Marine Ecology Progress Series. The research was conducted with help from former GPMB students Jamie Rudisill, Aimee Neeley and Jennifer Maucher. The first article addresses the effects of global climate change on phytoplankton and biogeochemical cycles, specifically atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature. The experimental results suggest that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature will negatively affect the photoplankton's ability to sequester carbon. The other article evaulates the CLAW hypothesis which states that phytoplankton-derived dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) can increase the ability of the earth's surface to reflect solar radiation, thus reducing atmospheric temperatures and combating the effects of global warming.
Visiting scientist, Dr. Darwin Jorgensen (from Roanoke College in Virginia), and two of his undergraduate students, Vicki Brings and Micah Spruill, have been looking at the physiological support of underwater walking in lobsters and blue crabs. This lobster, walking at a speed of about 2 km/hr, is instrumented to measure hemolymph (blood) pressure in the circulatory system and hydrostatic pressure in the two gill chambers (located on either side of the thorax). The acrylic mask mounted at the head end of the animal collects the seawater exiting the two gill chambers. The yellow piece in the mask is an electromagnetic flow probe and is used to measure the amount of seawater being pumped through the gill chambers per minute. This work is designed to help us understand how the gills work in concert with the cardiovascular system to support migratory activity in these commercially-important crustaceans. Learn more about the lobster on a treadmill.
Lobster on a Treadmill Video
David Shiffman, a second year student in the Graduate Program in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston, was recently interviewed by NPR. As co-author of the blog Southern Fried Science, his article The Ecological Disaster that is Dolphin Safe Tuna raises questions about the impacts of this fishing technique on other marine species, including sea turtles, sharks, and billfish. The interview titled Do We Care Too Much About Flipper? was conducted by Patt Morrison on July 29, 2009. David also wrote an article on this topic featured in Beyond Blue magazine.
Grice Marine Laboratory’s REU students are sparking the Charleston community’s interests in marine science with their ongoing summer research. One REU student, Claire Hancock, is acknowledged for her work with coral bleaching. This bleaching technique in coral occurs from various stresses in the marine environment and is fatal to coral. For more information, visit the recent article printed in Charleston’s Post and Courier on July 26, 2009.
Highlights of the REU Summer Research Experience at Grice
Dr. Erik Sotka at the College of Charleston's Grice Marine Laboratory is documenting how two invasive seaweeds appear to be negatively impacting our economy and health of our ecosystem. Over the last decade, Gracilaria vermiculophylla has become extremely common along the mudflats in several South Carolina estuaries, including Charleston Harbor, St. Helena Sound and Port Royal Sound. A second species, Polysiphonia breviarticulata, undergoes a 'boom-and-bust' cycle that is poorly understood. Its blooms occur largely outside of the estuaries within a few miles of the shoreline. The Sun News, the Island Packet and the Post and Courier have published articles addressing the impact of these algal species on coastal South Carolina.
Dr. Julian Harrison III (1934 - 2009), Professor Emeritus of Biology at the College of Charleston, was a lifetime volunteer with the Charleston Museum. An article by Albert E. Sanders, Curator of Natural Sciences, was published in the Summer 2009 issue of The Charleston Museum newsletter, Provenance.
The marine biology course students (Biology 209) peregrinated nearly 1400 miles up and down the Carolina coast from the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC to the eastern tip of Kiawah Island, SC, mucking through and seining in tidal marshes, diving on rocky jetties and floating docks, and trawling in Charleston Harbor. Some of the field experiences were shared with the Drs. Burnetts' summer REU students. Dr. Wiseman has been offering the course for 30 years, and reminds his students that there are no teachers just different degrees of learners.
Grice Marine Laboratory has just installed a brand new environmentally friendly 200 hp 4-stoke Yamaha motor on the 22 foot C-Hawk. We have also added a new 18 foot Lowe Jon boat with a 50 hp Yamaha motor to the fleet. This new motor and Jon boat will accelerate teaching and research capabilities here in Charleston Harbor.
On Wednesday June 24, 2009 the Upward Bound students came to the Grice Marine Laboratory to learn about the career field of marine science. Students were able to tour the historic site of Fort Johnson, talk with undergraduate and graduate students in the marine biology program, view marine life under microscopes, and get hands on experience with the GML’s touch tank filled with live marine life from Charleston Harbor. The Grice Marine Laboratory staff hope to inspire the Upward Bound students to make marine science a future career choice.
The Molecular Core Facility (MCF) located in room 210 at the Grice Marine Laboratory provides Molecular Biology services that support onsite research and varying curriculum needs here at the College of Charleston. One class in particular, Dr. Erik Sotka’s Marine Molecular Ecology Course (Bio 503), become regular visitors to the MCF throughout the Spring semester. The goal of the course is to introduce graduate level students to the genetic tools that can be applied to a wide variety of ecological topics. This semester projects included identifying cryptic species of Blackbelly Rosefish (Helicolenus dactylopterus), determining the primary reproductive mode (asexual vs. sexual) of the invasive alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla, and quantifying the degree of genetic differentiation among populations of the tropical reef-building coral Porites asteroides and the mudflat periwinkle Illyanassa obtusa. The students became proficient on several instruments within the MCF including a thermocycler and a digital imagining system as their projects progressed. Additionally, they received demonstrations and personal reviews of their DNA sequencing, microsatellite, and applied fragment length polymorphism data as it was generated by the Genetic Analysis System housed at the MCF. Results from these projects have spurred several individuals to continue their working relationship with the MCF in regards to their thesis research and additional side projects.
Welcome to the 2009 Interns of the Fort Johnson Undergraduate Summer Research Program! The eight undergraduates moved into the Grice lab dormitory on May 27 and will spend the next 10 weeks conducting independent research projects under the watchful eyes of mentors from the;College of Charleston, SCDNR, NOAA and NIST.
Loren Danese is a new research technician in the Sotka lab. She is a 2009 graduate of CofC, where she earned a B.S. in Marine Biology and was given the Navy League award for most outstanding junior in Marine Biology. She is the veteran of two Research Experience for Undergraduate summer programs (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in 2007 and the CofC in 2008). During her stay in Marie DeLorenzo's ecotoxicology laboratory, Loren published an article from her work with pesticides and larval shrimp. Loren is an avid diver, likes wearing flip-flops to work, and knows where to get the best Philly Cheesesteak in town. Please welcome her when you get a chance.
Jeremy Goldbogen, a Summer 2001 Intern in the Fort Johnson REU Program, has made some stunning discoveries regarding the mechanics of foraging behavior in rorqual whales. Jeremy related the story of his research exploits to the 2009 Fort Johnson REU Interns as part of the new Summer Program lecture series Fort Johnson REUs Reporting Home. Jeremy's findings form the basis for his soon-to-be defended PhD dissertation at the the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. His work has received extensive coverage in the popular press, such as the New York Times and CBC radio. Listen to the podcast.
Dr. Julian Harrison, III (1934-2009) was Professor Emeritus of Biology at the College of Charleston and was fascinated with natural history from a young age. He volunteered at the Charleston Museum where he helped with Nature Trailers, an afterschool program for children. He graduated from the College of Charleston in 1956 and completed a masters degree at Duke University and was awarded a PhD from the University of Notre Dame. In 1963 he became a Biology faculty member at the College of Charleston where he served with distinction until 1994 when he retired. Dr. Harrison remained an active member of the scientific community.
Long-time faculty member at the College Charles K. “Chip” Biernbaum remembers his friend and colleague. "The College of Charleston family suffered a major loss Friday, May 15th with the passing of Julian Harrison. A native Charlestonian and alumnus of the College (class of 1956), Julian joined its faculty in 1963. He was a classical naturalist, beginning his scientific exploration of natural areas of the Carolinas as a ten-year-old with the Charleston Museum, serving as an important volunteer at the Museum up through his college years. He focused his research on amphibians and mollusks of the two regions he loved the most, the South Carolina Lowcountry and the southern Blue Ridge Mountains -- he was a highly respected authority on the salamanders of the southeastern US. A quiet, unassuming, hard-working gentleman, Julian was respected and admired by his fellow faculty members and his many students. He and I were very close, frequently doing research together in a variety of habitats. I learned a great deal from him as he served as a very important friend and mentor while I matured as a faculty member at the CofC. Julian was a very special person and will be sorely missed.”
A former College of Charleston Marine Biology Masters graduate has received great honors for her work in Charleston County School District. Katherine Lee Metzner-Roop, a teacher at Academic Magnet High School, has been named the South Carolina Academy of Science's 2009 Teacher of the Year. Metzner-Roop was recently honored in Columbia, SC at the Academy of Science and Junior Academy of Science meeting. Not only has she been named 2009’s Science Teacher of the Year, but she was also named Teacher of the Year (2003-04) at her school as well as the Junior Science Academy Sponsor of the Year (2004-05). She has been making a difference teaching in Charleston County Schools for seventeen years and has been shaping lives at the College of Charleston for nine years. Congratulations Katherine!
Dr. Gorka Sancho is currently on sabbatical leave in Spain. He has been working on two different projects. The first includes coordinating an angler-lead tagging program of dolphinfish in the Western Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic. This project is done in collaboration with Don Hammond of the Dolphinfish Research Program in Charleston and the anglers from the Confederacion Española de Pesca Maritima de Recreo Responsable. Tagging of dolphinfish will start in August of 2009, and will provide information on movement patterns of this pelagic species in the Atlantic Ocean. This research will compliment the extensive dataset collected in the Western Atlantic by the Dolphinfish Research Program. His second project has been in collaboration with Courtney Murren and Matt Rutter from the CofC Biology Department. Dr. Sancho and his research team has been collecting large amounts of field data on the natural history and ecology of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small annual plant that grows in the surroundings of Trujillo. With the help of Laura Ferguson, a marine biology undergraduate student, they have monitored, measured and collected seeds from over 100 plants from two different river basins (Tajo and Guadiana). A lot of preliminary work has been done locating populations of this plant, which will hopefully lead to future intensive studies of this plant species in the years to come.
On April 23, 2009, several GPMB Students were inducted into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, at the annual banquet and awards ceremony. According to Dr. Robert T. Dillon, Jr., "Sigma Xi may be best known here locally as the main sponsor for the annual "Darwin Week" and for sponsoring presentation awards at the annual MUSC Student Research Day, GPMB Student Research Colloquium and the Citadel's Student Research Presentation Day. The organization provides excellent opportunities for professional networking among scientific institutions in the Charleston area and offers solid evidence of professional involvement for graduate students as they move into the next stage of their careers."
In a recent issue of the journal Science, a team of scientists, including College of Charleston biogeochemist Dr. Peter Lee, described a novel ecosystem in which a microbial community had managed to survive for over a million years in the absence of sunlight and oxygen. The authors believe that as sea levels decreased and glaciers began to advance across Antarctica pockets of seawater became trapped in the McMurdo Dry Valleys and were sealed off from the atmosphere and sunlight by the advancing glaciers. Unlike most subglacial lakes in Antarctica that are totally inaccessible without drilling equipment, this subglacial lake periodically discharges through the Taylor Glacier at a location known as Blood Falls. Using a combination of classical “wet chemistry” methods, modern molecular and genetic techniques, stable isotope analyses and thermodynamic modeling, the team of scientists examined this discharge and found that the surviving microorganisms had adapted to use sulfate andiron compounds as their source of energy but in an unusual way. Normally when microbes use sulfate for energy, they produce hydrogen sulfide (the compound that causes the characteristic smell of salt marshes) as the end product. But in this case, they stopped short of producing hydrogen sulfide and instead used the sulfate as a “catalyst” to derive their energy from iron minerals mobilized from the glacier’s bedrock. These findings provide insight into how life may have survived periods of Neoproterozoic glaciations ("Snowball Earth" events) when some scientists believe that the Earth was entombed in ice. The authors also suggest that similar ecosystems may provide a “refuge” for life in other inhospitable environments, such as Mars and the Jovian moon Europa.
Karen K. Martien, Dave Gregovich, Mark
V. Bravington, André E. Punt, Allan E. Strand, David A. Tallmon, and
Barbara L. Taylor recently published an article titled "TOSSM: an R package for assessing performance of genetic analytical methods in a management context" in Molecular Ecology Resources.
TOSSM (Testing of Spatial Structure Methods) is a package for testing the performance of genetic analytical methods in a management context. In the tossm package, any method developed to detect population genetic structure can be combined with a mechanism for creating management units (MUs) based on the genetic analysis. The resulting Boundary-Setting Algorithm (BSA) dictates harvest boundaries with a genetic basis. These BSAs can be evaluated with respect to how well the MUs they define meet management objectives.
The Multicultural ExCEL Awards were established to honor members of the College of Charleston community for their efforts to diversify and improve the campus. The Presidential Legacy Awards are a major part of this annual event and acknowledge the legacy and vision of former presidents of the College of Charleston. Charles Kolo Rathburn was awarded the Leo I. Higdon, Jr. Presidential Legacy Award for Outstanding Leadership on March 31st, 2009. Kolo, a marine biology graduate student, is founder member and presiding President of the College of Charleston Graduate Student Association. He is dedicated and passionate about making CofC and his community a better place for graduate students. Under his leadership the GSA participated in the 3rd annual CofC Dance Marathon which generated over $75,000, almost double the previous years amount, for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically MUSC Children’s Hospital.
The Grice aquarium room is designated for holding living organisms. College of Charleston faculty, staff and students use these marine specimens for teaching and research. Recently, several improvements were made to increase the room’s safety and functionality. All the air lines have been replaced and the workbenches have been painted. The electrical services have been upgraded to include additional circuits and emergency outlets. A notification system was installed to alert staff members of emergency power outages. If you would like to use this room for teaching or research, please contact Pete Meier, the Marine Operations Manager, at 953-9218.
Dr. Natasha Sharp recently joined the Burnett Lab as a postdoctoral researcher and will be further investigating the effects of low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) and elevated carbon dioxide (hypercapnic hypoxia) on the immune defense of shrimp and blue crab. These animals frequently experience these conditions in the shallow coastal waters they inhabit. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to the USA to complete her doctorate under the guidance of Marius Brouwer at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, University of Southern Mississippi. Her dissertation assessed the effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) hemocytes. Her research focused on the changes in hemocyte number as well as cytological effects and differential gene expression.
Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate studies Dave Owens has returned from presenting an invited paper at "An International Symposium : Reproduction of Marine Life" at the world famous Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The Owens paper, with Research Associate Gaëlle Blanvillain as a co-author, was titled "Captive Reproduction of Sea Turtles: An Important Success Story." He and three CofC graduate students also attended the 29th Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium, held Feburary 17- 19 in Brisbane, Australia. Steven O'Connell (GPMB) and Melissa Bimbi (MES) gave oral presentations, and Jesse Alderson (GPMB) presented a poster.
In addition, Dr. Owens also visited Townsville, Australia which is the home of James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Our graduate student Joe Pollock is a Fulbright Fellow at AIMS and James Cook University. Under the guidance of Pam Morris of MUSC, Joe is working to develop tools to accurately diagnose coral diseases on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and around the world. Currently, the diagnostic tools are very limited, so coral diseases are distinguished almost exclusively on their macroscopic appearance. He is focusing his efforts on developing a technique to detect the pathogen responsible for the coral disease White Syndrome on the GBR and coral bleaching in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. His research is progressing well and bioassays are underway to test the tool’s effectiveness in vivo.
In a newly published article in the journal Biological Bulletin, Hannah Giddens (a former CofC undergraduate) found that elevated seawater temperatures can cause herbivore to alter their feeding preferences, in some cases toward consuming foods that are of poorer quality even when higher quality foods are available. This is the first demonstration of temperature-dependent shifts in feeding preference, and provides another example of how global increases in seawater temperature may alter the dynamics of nearshore ecosytems in surprising ways.
In December 2008, the DiTullio lab members participated in a scientific research cruise aboard the R/V Roger Revelle, Scripp’s research vessel. They joined scientists from around the world in a collaborative effort to study a phytoplankton bloom that occurs every spring off the Southern coast of Argentina. The goal of the research cruise was to examine the effects of elevated carbon-dioxide levels on the growth of a particular group of phytoplankton called Coccolithophores. These organisms help fight global warming by turning carbon dioxide into protective shells called coccoliths. These armored plates are shed by the algae and sink to the sea floor thus, sequestering the carbon. As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, the ocean act as a natural carbon dioxide sponge; increasing oceanic carbon dioxide levels result in a lower oceanic pH or acidification. One of the experiments examined how this change in ocean’s pH levels might adversely affect Coccolithophores and their ability to sequester carbon in their coccoliths. The cruise lasted thirty days and provided the researchers with a lot of interesting data and samples that are currently being processed in the lab.
The Student Research Colloquium of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology (GPMB) was established in 1998, with the goals of increasing awareness of research activities by students and faculty affiliated with GPMB; providing graduate students with experience in making scientific presentations; and promoting interactions among faculty and students conducting research in marine biology. Oral and poster sessions, including the Friday social, were held at the Marine Resources Research Institute, Fort Johnson. The Lowcountry Boil on Saturday took place in the outdoor classroom adjacent to the Marshlands House. The poster presenters attended their posters from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday and the posters remained on display throughout the Colloquium. Meggie Kent won the award for best oral presentation. Please see the 2009 Colloquium Program for details about the presenters and topics.
Dr. Stephen Palumbi was the keynote speaker for the Student Research Colloquium which took place on February 6-7, 2009. Dr. Palumbi is the director of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. His research group focuses on a wide variety of topics related to marine biology.
On January 24th, we participated in the Lowcountry MESAS (Middle / Elementary School Academy of Science); a one day opportunity for students in grades 4 through 8 to engage is hands-on activities with local scientists. Our marine touch tank exhibit was titled “Estuaries: Nurseries of the Sea”. There were microscopes available for students to examine a variety of organisms found in Charleston Harbor. They also learned how to distinguish between a male and female blue crab and developed an understanding about what it means to be a marine scientist.
Several faculty and students attended the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) on January 3-7, 2009 in Boston, MA. Organized by discipline, SICB aims to integrate the many fields of biology. It is one of the largest and most prestigious professional associations of its kind. According to its constitution, SCIB “promotes the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge and concepts in integrative and comparative biology, and it adopts and supports policies advancing innovative studies of organisms.” Eight presentations and six posters from the College of Charleston were presented at the meeting. Please refer to the 2009 SICB Program for details on each presentation.
If you happened to be on Folly Beach on December 13th, you may have seen a giant blue octopus wearing a red Santa hat and riding on top of a boat. New species? Mutant genes you ask? Turns out it was part of a float entered by GML in the Folly Beach Christmas Parade. Graduate students dressed as sea critters danced around the boat as it was pulled along the parade route and threw candy canes to the delight of the many children. OCTOCLAUS was a huge success, finishing in 2nd place and winning a prestigious trophy and $200 for the Marine Biology GSA. Click here for more photos and video clips.
Research Associate and Adjunct Faculty member Dr. Karen Burnett was quoted in the Post and Courier newspaper. “We're very fortunate. We have the luxury of saying we're trying to protect the resource that's here,” said Karen Burnett, an associate professor of biology at the College of Charleston, who attended the conference. “I think we're doing the right things. I'm concerned about being able to continue.”
“It was not until this past summer while in an internship position at the Hollings Marine Laboratory with the College of Charleston that I began noticing a recurring visible discoloration on the shell of a large number of the blue crabs that were brought into the laboratory.” Nick Burnett is a freshman biology major at the University of South Carolina. His article was published in Issue 6, Fall 2008 of MarSci, the first online journal dedicated to undergraduate research in marine and aquatic science.
Grice lab director Dr. Lou Burnett and Pacific University collaborator Dr. David Scholnick appeared on the NBC Today Show to talk about their work on shrimp physiology using a treadmill that has been made famous on the internet through YouTube. They are interesting in how disease processes can influence performance in shrimp and other crustaceans. They appeared on two segments of the show. Click to view:
Segment 1 Segment 2