Student Research Colloquium 2013

This year’s Colloquium was held at Fort Johnson Friday, September 20th through Saturday, September 21st.  The Colloquium provides our Marine Biology graduate students and opportunity to develop their scientific presentation skills.  We were honored to have Felicia Coleman, Associate Professor of the Coastal and Marine Laboratory at  Florida State University, as the Keynote speaker.


The weekend began with a poster session and social, followed by a day full of oral presentations on Saturday. Typically, second years students present posters and oral presentations are presented by students in their third year. Each student is provide with a critique and constructive feedback on their work. The Colloquium ended the award presentations and a Lowcountry Boil celebration.  David Coles won for Best Presentation, and Liz Duermit won for Best Poster.

Graduate Student Poster Award

During the Seventh Annual Graduate Student Research Poster Session, Leslie Wickes received an award for her poster, “Growth and Distribution of Lophelia pertusa Under ‘Acidified’ Conditions in the Southern California Bight.” Wickes was one of three presenters that received honors from the four judges. At least 250 people turned out to view the 22 projects in the session. Read more at the Graduate School blog.

Art to Teach and Inspire

Amanda McLennonGrad Program in Marine Biology alum, Amanda McLenon (2010), was named the Griffith/Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year and will receive a $5,000 grant to produce 20 new pieces. McLenon’s paintings highlight marine life images on glass window sashes and antique picture frames. You can view images of her art at her website Circle the Stream.  “My hope is that my artwork will bring a greater appreciation for both the history and natural beauty of the Lowcountry, as well as inspire active participation in their preservation.” In addition to art, McLenon works part-time for the DiTullio Lab. She will be assisting in the research cruise to Antarctica this spring. Read more…

2011 Colloquium

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.

Award Winning Undergraduate Research at Grice

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.

Shelly Brew Nominated for the ExCEL Outstanding Staff Member Award

webbrewShelly 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.

Dr. Holland Receives the 2009 Environmental Awareness Award

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.”

Graduate Students Receive Poster Awards

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.

Marine Biology Colloquium

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 theColloquium 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

Melanie Hedgespeth

Distinguished Recognition for Colloquium Poster

Lindsey Parent and Joy Gerhard

Distinguished Recognition for Colloquium Poster of Proposal

Ryan Joyce and Tessa Bricke