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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The annual Grice Marine-ival festival took place on Saturday, May 3rd this year and was a great success. Over 100 students, faculty, staff and family members attended, and nearly $300 was raised for the Marine Biology Graduate School Association (MBGSA)! The students won the student vs. faculty volleyball game, and the faculty won the student vs. facutly kickball game. Other events at the festival included a cookout, bake sale, cornhole tournament, fiddler crab races, face painting, water balloon fight, and digging for sharks teeth.
As part of the HHMI Science Educations Alliance Phage Hunters Program, twenty-six College of Charleston undergraduate student were published November 27, 2013 in the recent Genome Announcement. This publication includes two published NCBI Genome Accession Numbers. Hyperlinks to genome accession numbers are within attached paper (Genome Announc.-2013-Hatfull-). Many of these students worked with Dr. Ana Zimmerman here at the Grice Marine Laboratory. Dr. Erin Morris-Richard and Dr. Chris Korey from the downtown campus also worked on this project. The project website lists details of the phages found. With phage names like DirtMcgirt (pictured) and FuzzyWuzzy you should take a look at the wonderful research these students are doing.
The Grice Green Teaching Garden puts College of Charleston on the map as home to the first Ocean Friendly Garden in South Carolina. Ocean Friendly Gardens is a national program sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation. It teaches CPR (Conservation, Permeability, and Retention) for landscaping in an effort to prevent storm water runoff from entering the local watersheds. Urban runoff from lawns and hard surfaces is the #1 source of ocean pollution. By using the three important concepts of CPR, we can prevent bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers, sediment, and other harmful pollutants from entering into the ocean. Sharleen Johnson, the MBGSA Green Garden Outreach Coordinator, and Kim Counts of Carolina Clear spearheaded this effort. Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium also donated signs identifying the native plant species in the garden.
I am a marine evolutionary ecologist. I use seaweed and invertebrate models to explore the impacts of the sea- and shorescape on dispersal, genetic structure and mating systems. I use manipulative field experiments and molecular tools to investigate how genetic diversity is partitioned, particularly in intertidal and subtidal habitats.
I finished my PhD in October 2011 at the Universite de Pierre et Marie Curie (in Paris, though I was based at the Station Biologique de Roscoff) and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (in Santiago, Chile) under the co-direction of Myriam Valero and Juan Correa. My project was one of only two studies exploring the impacts of the intertidal shorescape and the mating system on genetic structure in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus. I was a post-doc for a year and a half at the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom working with John Bishop on biological invasions and Declan Schroeder and Colin Brownlee on the effects of ocean acidification on phytoplankton. I am currently working with Erik Sotka and his lab to explore the invasive history of the red seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla. We were just awarded an NSF grant to further explore when and where possible evolutionary changes facilitating this invasion took place. This grant will enable us to travel to Japan, the western and eastern coasts of North America and Europe to sample populations of G. vermiculophylla. Along with co-Pis Courtney Murren and Allan Strand, we will be exploring genotypic and phenotypic diversity.