Recent Grice Grad Student Makes the Local Internet

Andrea Margiotta, who graduated May 2015, followed along on her marine science path by taking a job with the SC Aquarium as an Education Interpreter.  Andrea started at the Aquarium right after graduation and as an Education Interpreter, she presents educational shows for guests, leads classroom and outreach programs, and assists with program development. Below is the photo of Andrea that was recently posted on the Aquarium’s Career webpage, holding “Pippen the Barn Owl”!

Sotka Lab Gets One-Year Intern From Brazil

Grice Marine Lab and Erik Sotka’s lab team welcome visiting scientist and intern, Glauco Barreto de Oliveira Machado.  Glauco is a Ph.D. student in Ecology at University of Campinas, from Brazil. He has been studying the association between small herbivores and macroalgae.  Specifically,  he is interested in understanding how and what factors drive this interaction.  IMG_20160125_113758185_HDRWhile getting his Masters, he studied the association of two herbivorous amphipod species with the brown alga Sargassum, and its epiphytes by investigating the importance of these algae as food for those consumers.  Currently, he is interested in understanding the role of predation on that small herbivore-alga interaction, as well as studying the role of nutrition of herbivorous amphipods on their interaction with algal hosts. Welcome, Glauco!


Alyssa Demko Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Award

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!

Grice Graduate Student Publishes Journal Article on Sea Turtles

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 ( or LinkedIn profile (




New Grice Bog and Wetland Garden

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

2014 Grice Marine-ival

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. marine


Dash for Trash

Students from College of Charleston went on a mission to pick up trash for the 11th Annual Dash for Trash, starting at Liberty Square on October 19th.  Most things picked up were cigarette butts, but among other items were old lighting, a broken surfboard, and broken children’s toys in a two hour period.  All items collected were worth “points”, and the team with the most points received gift cards and/or movie tickets.  This is a great annual even to help keep Charleston beautiful.