Recent Grice Grad Student Makes the Local Internet

Andrea Margiotta, who graduated May 2015, followed along on her marine science path by taking a job with the SC Aquarium as an Education Interpreter.  Andrea started at the Aquarium right after graduation and as an Education Interpreter, she presents educational shows for guests, leads classroom and outreach programs, and assists with program development. Below is the photo of Andrea that was recently posted on the Aquarium’s Career webpage, holding “Pippen the Barn Owl”!

Sotka Lab Gets One-Year Intern From Brazil

Grice Marine Lab and Erik Sotka’s lab team welcome visiting scientist and intern, Glauco Barreto de Oliveira Machado.  Glauco is a Ph.D. student in Ecology at University of Campinas, from Brazil. He has been studying the association between small herbivores and macroalgae.  Specifically,  he is interested in understanding how and what factors drive this interaction.  IMG_20160125_113758185_HDRWhile getting his Masters, he studied the association of two herbivorous amphipod species with the brown alga Sargassum, and its epiphytes by investigating the importance of these algae as food for those consumers.  Currently, he is interested in understanding the role of predation on that small herbivore-alga interaction, as well as studying the role of nutrition of herbivorous amphipods on their interaction with algal hosts. Welcome, Glauco!


DNR To Host Open House October 24th

Come face-to-face with a flatfish, practice your fishing knots, or take a cruise around Charleston Harbor at the upcoming Marine Resources Center Open House, an activity-packed event that’s all about the coast and what we do out here at the Fort Johnson campus.  poster
On October 24, 2015, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marine Resources Center in Charleston County will open to the community. For the first time since 2008, the public is invited to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the Center, where world-class coastal science, education, and management happen.
The Marine Resources Center is located on James Island and enjoys beautiful views of the city of Charleston, the harbor, and the iconic Ravenel Bridge. Whether your family is brand new to the area or has been in Charleston for generations, we welcome you to come find out more about the water and wildlife that make the coast such a desirable place to live – and the people who safeguard these resources for the citizens of South Carolina. Meet the scientists who study our state’s sea turtles, salt marshes, and shellfish, the law enforcement officers who protect our waterways, and the educators who help schoolchildren discover the beauty of the coast.
  Come have fun experiencing a boating simulator, touch tank, numerous eductiaonal booths on marine science, and much more!  For media inquiries, please contact Erin Weeks at (843) 953-9845 or  Hope to see you there!

CofC Scientist Studies Elusive River Shark

Gavin Naylor of CofC and the Medical University of South Carolina, along with several of his colleagues, is studying a River Shark that lives in the shallow, muddy rivers from Asia to the South Pacific.  Once thought there were three different speices, Naylor has now confirmed that in fact they are all the same family of sharks called Glyphis.  You can read more about his studies here:



Welcome Summer REU’s!

The REU program (Research Experience for Undergradutes) at Grice has officially kicked off.  Ten students from all over the country (and world- one is here from Puerto Rico!) are spending 10 weeks assigned to a mentor who will aid them in doing various research projects.  REUsREUsThe summer will be filled with many exciting experiences for the REU’s which started with a Grice welcome cookout last Friday evening.  Other opportunities will include workshops/lectures, mentor lunches, shark sampling, a weekend trip to the ACE Basin (ACE Basin – Ashepoo, Combahee and South Edisto Rivers), and alligator sampling.   The summer will wind down with the REU’s presenting the outcome of their research projects at a Colloquium on August 5th.


7th Annual George D. Grice, Jr. Lecture

Mark MartindaleOn April 10, 2015, Dr. Mark Martindale from the University of Florida gave the 7th annual George D. Grice, Jr. Lecture. This special Ft. Johnson seminar honors the contributions of the Grice family to marine science. Mark’s talk, “Developmental Constraints and the Pattern of Animal Evolution,” covered his work on the relationship between genomic and morphological complexity in the evolution of animal form. His research covers the evolution of development, the evolution of novelty and complexity, and the relationship between development and regeneration.

New Seawater Tanks in Grice Wet Lab

pete in tank 1The new tank system in the wet lab is now operational! Our old storage tanks, circa 1980s, were replaced with two new 500-gallon Polyethylene storage tanks. We installed a new filtration system that will make our sea water much cleaner. new tanks 1It will also eliminate some of the issues we had with bacteria, algae and diatom build-up. Water is now filtered through a 10um cartridge filter, activated carbon and a UV sterilization filter.
The wet lab continues to be utilized at near capacity with Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) parasite studies, Blue Crab/Diamondback Terrapin (Callinectes sapidus/Malaclemys terrapin) pot trials, Sea Spider (pycnogonid) sexual selection research, Snapping Shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) mating behaviors and invasive algae (Gracilaria vermiculophylla) culturing studies.

Grice Welcomes New Administrative Specialist

Madison Edwards joined the GML staff in March, 2015. She hails from Hilton Head Island, and is a recent graduate of the College of Charleston where she earned a BA in [African] History. She provides administrative support to both GML and the GPMB, including managing the social media accounts and attending Science Board meetings. madShe manages the application process for the REU program, as well as assisting with the applications for the GPMB.  Her job duties include maintaining the dorms, recruiting for the GPMB, assisting with the CORAL program, providing tours for prospective students, as well as general office management. When she is not at work, you can find her emphatically cheering on her beloved sports teams, the Dallas Cowboys, USC Gamecocks and US Men’s National Soccer Team; eating Indian food, creating art or watching Netflix with her cat, Shaka Zulu.

Alyssa Demko Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Award

Graduate Student Alyssa Demko has been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation- Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP) which includes a three-year annual stipend and a yearly cost of education allowance.  This award allows for many opportunities for networking, also allowing the recipient to slightly alter the project they propose if their interests happen to change.

Alyssa is finishing up her Masters degree with Erik Sotka, looking at the effects of phylogeny and latitude on seaweed palatability.   She is studying 50 seaweeds from several different parts of the world testing palatability through a series of feeding assays using emerald crabs and rock boring urchins.  For the NSF-GRFP, Alyssa is proposing to expand her Masters work into a Ph.D. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Grice Graduate Student Publishes Journal Article on Sea Turtles

Vanessa Bezy has conducted extensive research on  sea turtles, spending much time doing so in Costa Rica. While at Grice, she worked with Graduate Program Director, Craig Plante, starting in Fall of 2011 and graduating in Spring of 2014.  Below you can read her original journal article from PLOS ONE based on her Masters thesis research , as well as a summary article that she wrote summarizing the study.  Vanessa is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her thesis there will be investigating the sensory and behavioral cues associated with the mass nesting behavior in Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) at Ostional, Costa Rica.  For more information about Vanessa, please visit her personal website ( or LinkedIn profile (