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.