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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


Marine Ecology

The study of marine-life habitat, populations, and interactions among organisms and their surrounding environment. Areas of current research include: population genetics, phytoplankton physiology and ecology, primary productivity, microbial community structure and function, behavioral ecology, biodiversity, human impacts on coastal ecosystems, fisheries, invasive species and food web dynamics.

Marine Ecology and Evolution Faculty

Manuel Bringué

Manuel Bringué

I am an oceanographer in Bob Thunell's Marine Sediment Research Lab who studies living dinoflagellates in the modern coastal ocean, as well as their fossilized cysts in Quaternary sediments. My current focus is on studying dinoflagellate cyst production in the Cariaco Basin (off Venezuela) using one of the longest sediment trap time series in the world.

Bruce C. Coull

Bruce C. Coull

Marine Science and Biological Sciences; Dean Emeritus, School of the Environment. His marine research focused on small bottom-living animals (meiofauna) and their role and ecosystem function, including: their role of as food for juvenile fish; lethal and sublethal effects of sediment bound contaminants (heavy metals, PCB's, etc.) on meiofauna; and their population density, diversity and genetic makeup. As Dean of the School of the Environment he focused on sustainability development and incorporating environmental ethics into teaching, practice and outreach (for example, through initiating UofSC's Green Quad).

W. Joe Jones

W. Joe Jones

Past Director of the UofSC Genomics facility, Joe Jones's research has focused on conservation genetics, genetic connectivity, and genetics of rare populations (especially in fish and plankton); molecular phylogenetics and ecology, microbial ecology, natural history, and technology development. As the Faculty Principal of Green Quad, his most recent work connects this expertise to undergraduate and graduate hands-on learning experiences in aquaponics and heritage landrace propagation.

Matthew E. Kimball

Matthew E. Kimball

My general research interests are in marine ecology, particularly the influence of biological and physical factors on the community dynamics of coastal fauna and flora. I am especially interested in the influence of such factors on the distribution and movement of juvenile and adult stages of estuarine and coastal fishes and invertebrates, as well as the effects of habitat on the survival and growth of these organisms. I have pursued these interests through research efforts, often combining field and laboratory approaches, in a wide range of estuarine systems and the coastal ocean along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

James Pinckney

James Pinckney

I'm a marine ecologist who studies how marine ecosystems work, especially in terms of how they process energy derived from microscopic plants (phytoplankton and microalgae). Most of my work is conducted in estuarine and coastal waters, including the Gulf of Mexico, San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, North Inlet Estuary on the South Carolina coast, and Galveston Bay, Texas.

Tammi Richardson

Tammi Richardson

I study phytoplankton...the microscopic algae that give the ocean its greenish color and that photosynthesize, removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Specifically I'm interested in how light, nutrients, and temperature influence phytoplankton growth and taxonomic composition, including the development of "red tides" (harmful algal blooms).

Ryan Rykaczewski

Ryan Rykaczewski

Fisheries Oceanography; Observation of long-term changes in ocean biogeochemistry and climate; Large-scale changes in oceanic and atmospheric properties of the North Pacific; Remote forcing of coastal conditions; Ocean acidification and deoxygenation; Size-structured interactions in ocean ecosystems

Daniel Speiser

Daniel Speiser

The Speiser Lab studies the structure, function, and evolution of complex traits in invertebrate animals. We are particularly interested in the function and evolution of dispersed sensory systems in marine molluscs, particularly the multi-eyed visual systems found in certain bivalves (such as scallops) and in certain species of chiton. We are also studying the neurobiology that underlies these distributed sensory networks. As a hypothesis-driven research group, we are open to pursuing a wide range of questions in visual ecology, marine biology, and evolutionary physiology.