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!
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”!
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.
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.
Grad 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…
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.
Dr. Erik Sotka received a 2010 Fulbright Senior Scholarship and will conduct a study at the University of New South Wales in Australia on seaweed-herbivore interactions for the next four months. Please click here for more information about his study.
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 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.
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.”