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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!

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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 (http://www.vanessabezy.com/Vanessa_Bezy/Home.html) or LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com/in/vanessabezy)

Article:  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0118579

Summary:  http://theconversation.com/baby-sea-turtles-starved-of-oxygen-by-beach-microbes-38015

 

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A new and exciting project will be underway at Grice this month.  Groundbreaking will begin on a new wetland and bog garden located on the Southeast corner of the building.  This project was spearheaded by graduate students Rebecca Balazs and Sharleen Johnson, with assistance from Lab Manager Greg Townsley.  Rebecca and Sharleen wrote a proposal and received a small grant from the ECOllective Fund from CofC’s Office of Sustainability.  The Garden will utilize condensation runoff from the HVAC chiller on Grice’s roof.  This water will be piped to a small pond, then distributed to a couple of wetland container gardens, including one which will be an acidic bog where native carnivorous plants will reside.  The large amount of condensate water was originally pooling on the east side of Grice, which could potentially damage the building.  Construction will begin February 14, 2015.  You can view the layout below.

 

Bog Garden Drawing 2.3.15

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Grice Professor, Erik Sotka,  and Post-doctoral Fellow, Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, have recently written a short article in The Marine Biologist about the efforts of the Sotka lab studying the evolutionary ecology of an invasive red seaweed,  Gracilaria vermiculophylla.  They discussed the the mutualism formed between the alga and a decorator worm called Diaptra cuprea in the Southeastern US as well as the work they will be embarking on in 2015 sampling the extant range of the seaweed, both native and non-native.  To learn more about their work, you can contact Erik ([email protected]) or Stacy ([email protected]).  Also, visit the website for the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA)  http://www.mba.ac.uk/.

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As we do every year, Grice was a part of the 2014 Christmas Parade at Folly Beach. “Octoclaus” made his annual appearance and we won “Best Beach Themed Float”!

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parade

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Summer is coming to a close as the ten REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) finish up their research experience here at Grice. The students arrived at the end of May from all over the country, as well as one from Puerto Rico, and will depart this week. They had a fun-filled summer working with mentors and graduate students on various projects including topics such as hammerhead sharks, snapping shrimp, sheepshead minnows, and horseshoe crabs. The Colloquium took place in the SCDNR Marine Resources Research Institute Auditorium where each REU got to present their research to Grice and SCDNR employees, staff and faculty. group photo 4

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Thirty students from the Science & Math session of the College of Charleston’s Senior Project visited Grice this month. Their day was filled with a plankton workshop, touch tank, tour of the Collections room, as well as learning about several research projects going on currently with graduate students. Senior Project is a competitive annual college-prep program where rising high school seniors get a chance to experience a week of “college life”. You can read more about it here.

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Grice received a visit by 40 high school guidance counselors from Chicago, Illinois who had been visiting various Colleges and Universities for a week. After visiting College of Charleston, the Admissions department thought it would be a treat for them to come see what all goes on at Grice. On Friday, June 20th, Pete Meier (Marine Operations Manager) and Emily Phillips (Lab Assistant) gave them some historical facts about Fort Johnson, as well as a tour of the Collections Room, the Wet Lab, and then took them outside to see the dolphins in the harbor. Other previous schools they visited besides College of Charleston included Duke University, University of NC Chapel Hill, Elon University, and University of NC Wilmington.

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Greg Townsley recently started as Grice’s new Lab Manager, and is very excited to be here. Greg’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Ohio State University and a Master’s in Environmental Studies through the MES program at CofC. He lived in Charleston for 20 years before moving to Northern Utah for 4 years where he worked first for the US Forest Service and then as a Facility Manager/Research Technician for an Algae Biofuel research facility at Utah State University. While in Utah, Greg did a lot of hiking and learned to snowboard. He currently lives in West Ashley with his dog and cat, and his hobbies include photography, cooking, sampling craft beers, and hunting for old vinyl records in thrift stores. Greg is happy to be back in Charleston among good friends, the beautiful scenery and warmer winters.
greg

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Grice 2014 Newsletter

Posted by: | May 23, 2014 | No Comment |

The newest edition of the Grice Newsletter has been mailed out this month, for all of you who are interested in the news and happenings at Grice recently. If you didn’t receive one in the mail you can view the electronic copy here.

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