y Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in the News - Research, Academics, Extension

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in the News

June 2014

Blue Crab Aquaculture Ready for Next Step to Commercial Production

Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture, joined state legislators and representatives from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), USDA, and Alcorn State University on June 20 to discuss an exciting opportunity for commercial production of softshell blue crabs. With support from MDMR, USM and GCRL have invested in basic research that has yielded the knowledge and techniques to successfully produce blue crabs in the laboratory and ponds.  Today, Mississippi hosts one of only two facilities in the U.S. with that capability.  The June 20 gathering called together the people who can help initiate the next step toward commercial production – a pilot program on a Mississippi farm to provide softshell crabs for the seafood market.

Students from the USM Center for Community and Civic Engagement, led by Steve Carrion and Alex Sandoval, begin an elevation profile that will span Deer Island.
State legislators and others hear about blue crab aquaculture opportunities for Mississippi farmers.  Click for larger image.

Research Scientist Harriet Perry explained, “The ultimate goal is commercial production of softshell blue crabs on Mississippi aquaculture farms.  Softshells are the money crab; they present the best economic opportunity.  The demand for softshells far exceeds the supply and retail prices are now $25 to $60 per dozen, depending on size.”  The state’s catfish industry has been severely hampered by competition from low-priced foreign imports and many farmers have idle production ponds.  Blue crabs can be a means to put idle catfish production capacity back into operation with a readily marketable, sustainable, high-value product. 

GCRL, MDMR, and Alcorn have applied jointly for a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support a pilot production program.  Under the program, Alcorn State will work with a Mississippi farmer through its extension service and GCRL will provide technical support. Seed crabs will be raised from eggs to juveniles at the GCRL facilities on East Beach and Cedar Point and DMR’s Lyman Hatchery. The pilot project will provide opportunities to investigate commercial production methods and continue research into ways to reduce the cost of production.

State Senator Brice Wiggins summed up the meeting, “Scientists at GCRL, with support from MDMR, have determined how to raise blue crabs in a sustainable way that produces delicious and healthy high-value seafood.  The next step is putting the science to work in the real world.  It’s a great economic development opportunity for Mississippi farmers and seafood dealers and a great home-grown source of healthy food for America.”


Dr. Jay Grimes Moderates Session at Capitol Hill Ocean Week

Dr. Jay Grimes, Professor of Marine Microbiology, recently moderated The Oceans and Human Health (OHH) session June 10-12 at the Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) annual event in Washington, D.C.  CHOW is sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and provides marine professionals, government officials, and ocean enthusiasts a venue for networking and advancing policy goals. 

The OHH session included panelists from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Marine Mammal Commission, and the pharmaceutical industry.  The group explored the linkages between human health and the health of marine environments, in particular the threats posed by pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, marine mammal strandings, harmful algae blooms and pathogenic marine microbes, as well as the means for addressing those threats. The marine mammal discussion focused on mercury in seals, sea lion strandings caused by domoic acid being produced by diatoms growing on urea from agricultural runoff, and antibiotic resistant bacteria, including MRSA, found in many marine mammals.

Students from the USM Center for Community and Civic Engagement, led by Steve Carrion and Alex Sandoval, begin an elevation profile that will span Deer Island.
State legislators and others hear about blue crab aquaculture opportunities for Mississippi farmers.  Click for larger image.

The panel also discussed recent research programs by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NSF, and the pharmaceutical industry. NSF and NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have created four centers of excellence on OHH. Pharmaceutical companies have begun isolating bioactive compounds from ocean organisms, including Halichondrin B, found in sea sponges, and used as an anti-cancer agent which is especially active against metastatic breast cancer.



Jill Hendon, right, and Sarah Ashworth measure a bull shark caught in Mississippi Sound during a periodic longline shark survey.
Jill Hendon, right, and Sarah Ashworth measure a bull shark caught in Mississippi Sound during a periodic longline shark survey. Click for larger image.

Sun Herald Features Jill Hendon's Shark Work

Long-term shark research work by GCRL Research Scientist Jill Hendon was featured in the June 22 issue of the Sun Herald:  Coastal Waters Have a Variety of Sharks.  The article describes traditional tagging with hand-line, gillnet, and long-line techniques as well as acoustic and satellite tracking, and includes a photo gallery.

Read more about shark research at GCRL.

View or download the GCRL Shark Identification Guide.


May 2014

Fishing Tournament Nets Donation to Fisheries Research

For the third consecutive year, a portion of the proceeds from the Spraberry-Schankin Memorial Trout Tournament has been donated to GCRL to support fisheries research.  Tournament organizers John Rea and Andy Hermetz of Mississippi Gulf Coast Fishing Tournaments, Inc., recently presented a $2,000 check to Read Hendon. The donation will help fund research on spotted seatrout (a.k.a. “speckled trout”) and other important recreational fishery species in GCRL's Center for Fisheries Research and Development.    USM media release   

Grimes Distinguished Lecturer Series brings Dr. Bill Hogarth to Ocean Springs

On April 22, Dr. William T. Hogarth, director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography, delivered a free public lecture at The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education in Ocean Springs.  The lecture, titled “U.S. Fisheries:  Emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico,” was the fifth in the Grimes Distinguished Lecturer Series begun in 2007.

Dr. Hogarth discussed the status of the country’s fisheries industries and the challenges faced in meeting our growing demand for seafood in the face of intense foreign competition.  Two million American jobs are fisheries dependent and annual U.S. fisheries sales amount to $185 billion.  Yet the U.S. ranks fifth among nations in production, and we import far more seafood than we export.  In fact, the negative U.S. balance of trade for fish and fishery products is larger than that for automobiles and petroleum.  With shrimp, the single most popular seafood in America, we annually import seven to eight times as much shrimp as we produce.   Dr. Hogarth suggested that with the global catch of wild seafood remaining nearly static, increased demand for seafood must be met by aquaculture.  GCRL’s aquaculture programs and research are directed toward stock enhancement and also toward supporting a sustainable and sound aquaculture industry to provide healthy products to American consumers while boosting the U.S. economy.

Dr. Hogarth was previously the director of the National Marine Fisheries Service and also served as Commissioner and Chairman for both the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) and the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The Jay and Bev Grimes Distinguished Lecturer Series is sponsored by GCRL professor Jay Grimes and his wife Bev.  The series brings well-known marine scientists to address topics important to Southern Miss students and faculty and the Gulf Coast community.

Annual Fisheries Workshop a Success

The annual Mississippi Marine Fisheries Workshop brought local anglers to GCRL on April 23 for presentations by five GCRL scientists and the Finfish Bureau Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

Please contact Martha Brown if you would like to receive email notification of similar events at GCRL.

The Mississippi Marine Fisheries Workshop is an annual event. Workshops are coordinated with and funded by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Popular Fishing Seminar Series Continues in June

The popular Fishing With Science seminar series continues for one final session in  June with the focus on tripletail (blackfish). The seminars pair GCRL scientists and local fishing guides to help anglers understand popular local sport fish and how to catch them. A casual discussion session follows the formal presentation with a local seafood sampling and displays of tackle and equipment. The March session provided a general overview of coastal fishing and in April the focus was on cobia. The May session was designed to provide fisherman with the information needed to make the most of spring and summer trout fishing. The last session will help anglers prepare anglers for the annual arrival of tripletail to Mississippi waters.

Details and registration

Proceeds from registration fees are applied to scholarships for summer programs and fisheries research. According to program host Sam Clardy, "A portion of the fees from our March and April sessions has already provided scholarships to Shark Fest and Angler Camp for seven local kids who would not have been able to attend otherwise."

Add Tripletail to Your List of Targeted Species, Fishing Seminars at the Gulf Coast Research LaboratoryJune 19 - Add Tripletail to Your List of Targeted Species  

Jim Franks, Senior Research Scientist, GCRL Center for Fisheries Research & Development
Captain Ronnie Daniels, Fishing Guide, Fisher-Man Guide Service

Tripletail, or blackfish, show up in our waters every year, usually in May, and remain until the early fall. They are unlike any other game fish. Jim Franks will share information on the biology and unusual behavior of this species. Captain Ronnie Daniels will provide tips for how to catch his favorite species, the tripletail.

Let's Talk Tarpon!

Students from the USM Center for Community and Civic Engagement, led by Steve Carrion and Alex Sandoval, begin an elevation profile that will span Deer Island.
Captain Ernest Desporte with the first known tarpon caught on rod and reel in Mississippi, 1895.

More than 80 people gathered at GCRL on June 3 for a casual evening of stories about tarpon and tarpon fishing legends, science, and how-to advice. The event was a joint effort of GCRL, the Historic Ocean Springs Saltwater Flyfishing Club (HOSSFLY), and CCA Mississippi.

Three speakers were featured on the informal program: Krissy Wejebe, Brandon Shuler, and Jim Franks. Krissy described growing up and fishing with her father Jose Wejebe, legendary Keys fisherman and television host, and about the foundation she directs that continues his charitable activities. Captain Brandon Shuler, Ph.D. contributed information about tarpon fishing from his perspective as a fishing guide, writer, and editor of Glory of the Silver King: The Golden Age of Tarpon Fishing” which details the history of tarpon fishing in Texas and nearby Mexico. Jim Franks, Senior Fisheries Scientist at GCRL, concluded the formal program with a presentation on the life history of tarpon, ongoing tarpon research at GCRL, and the rich history of tarpon fishing in Mississippi. A lively discussion followed, with audience members relating their experiences with Mississippi tarpon and Jim encouraging local anglers to pass along their observations of tarpon in Mississippi waters.

CCA provided refreshments after the session and Brandon Shuler signed copies of his book, donating $5 from the sale of each copy to HOSSFLY. HOSSFLY, in turn, donated the funds to GCRL's Marine Education Center to help fund scholarships for local children to attend GCRL summer camps.

GCRL Researchers Receive NSF EAGER Grant to Study Bacteria in Elasmobranchs

Is it possible that healthy elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and stingrays) can have a mutually beneficial relationship with bacteria residing within their tissues? Until now, the presence of bacteria in the tissues and organs of vertebrate animals has typically indicated a potentially harmful infection. However, previous bacterial culture work by Dr. Grimes indicates that elasmobranch fishes can remain perfectly healthy even though they harbor bacteria within tissues including muscle, liver and kidney. This exciting discovery may lead to a basic paradigm shift in our understanding of the relationships between bacteria and their hosts.

Dr. Andy Evans (Lead Principle Investigator) and Dr. Jay Grimes (Co-Principal Investigator) will explore the possibility of this previously unknown mutualistic relationship between the host fish and the bacteria with the support of an EAGER grant (Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research) from the National Science Foundation. The $289,885 grant includes a sub-award to the J. Craig Venter Institute. Work began in May and will continue for two years.

The research team will use cutting edge DNA sequencing technology to characterize the elasmobranch microbiome - the array of bacterial species present in tissues from two elasmobranchs common in Mississippi waters - the Atlantic sharpnose shark and the Atlantic stingray.  They will also verify the presence and specific locations of bacteria within tissues using transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) methods.  Characterization of the elasmobranch microbiome will provide critical data for future proposals and studies examining the roles of resident bacteria in elasmobranch physiology. Understanding the nature of this novel relationship will provide valuable insight not only for elasmobranch research but also comparative physiology, immunology, and vertebrate health. Future work may examine the  immune mechanisms that allow for bacterial residence in healthy individuals.

Project abstract and additional details

April 2014

Graduate Students at GCRL Sweep Presentation Awards at AFS Meeting

Student Award winners at the recent MSAFS Chapter meeting.  Pictured (left to right) are Stephen Brown, MSAFS President, Faith Lambert, First Place, Jeremy Higgs, Second Place, Jennifer Green, Third Place, and Peter Allen, Chair of the Student Awards Committee.
Student Award winners at the recent MSAFS Chapter meeting.  Pictured (left to right) are Stephen Brown, MSAFS President, Faith Lambert, First Place, Jeremy Higgs, Second Place, Jennifer Green, Third Place, and Peter Allen, Chair of the Student Awards Committee.

Best student presentation awards were won by three Department of Coastal Sciences graduate students at the recent joint meeting of the Mississippi and Tennessee Chapters of the American Fisheries Society.  Sixteen USM/GCRL employees and students participated in the March 18-20, 2014 meeting at Pickwick Landing State Park in Tennessee. 

Darcie Graham, outgoing Secretary-Treasurer of MSAFS, receiving a service plaque from new MSAFS president Wes Neal.
Darcie Graham, outgoing Secretary-Treasurer of MSAFS, receivies a service plaque from new MSAFS president Wes Neal.

Additional presentations at the meeting were given by other GCRL attendees.

Finishing their terms on the Executive Committee and attending the meeting were Nancy Brown-Peterson (Past President) and Darcie Graham (Secretary-Treasurer).  Jennifer Green was elected as the new Secretary-Treasurer of the Mississippi Chapter.  Also attending were Mark Peterson, Andy Evans, Greg Crochet, Danielle Bailey, and Ginger Fleer.

Summer Rohe, SAME Marine Educator of the Year, receives her award from Dr. Jessie Kastler, new President-Elect of SAME, on USM Founder's Day.
Summer Rohe, SAME Marine Educator of the Year, receives her award from Dr. Jessie Kastler, new President-Elect of SAME, on USM Founder's Day.

Summer Rohe Dorcik - Marine Educator of the Year

The Southern Association of Marine Educators (SAME) award for outstanding marine science educator has been awarded to only six educators since 2004.  The seventh individual to earn this honor is Summer Rohe Dorcik, a marine education specialist at GCRL.

Summer holds a B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in education from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri.  While an undergraduate, she took three classes in GCRL’s Summer Field Program that inspired her to return to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  From 2009 to 2011, she served as an instructor at Newfound Harbor Marine Institute and the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, before coming to work at GCRL in 2011. Summer is now director of the Sea Camp program which serves approximately 1000 students each summer. During the rest of the year, she introduces K-12 students to the coastal and marine environments in programs designed to get students out in the environment. Summer helps them gain a hands-on field learning experience through Coastal Science Camps and the Miss Peetsy B program.  Summer has been a member of the National Marine Educators Association for more than three years and presented at the NMEA conference in Anchorage, Alaska in 2012.

GCRL Conducts Service Learning Program on Deer Island

Dr. Jessie Kastler and Aaron Lamey have recently conducted a Tidelands-funded service learning project in which students from four colleges and universities examined the results of restoration efforts on Deer Island. Service learning programs fulfill a community need while giving students a valuable field experience in which they both learn and serve.

Deer Island has lost 300 acres of its area to erosion since 1850 and The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been engaged in projects to restore and stabilize the island. The most recent effort included the beneficial use of dredged material to create new island and marsh. After the material is deposited, natural processes take over as vegetation and animal communities move into the new area.

Students from the USM Center for Community and Civic Engagement, led by Steve Carrion and Alex Sandoval, begin an elevation profile that will span Deer Island.
Students from the USM Center for Community and Civic Engagement, led by Steve Carrion and Alex Sandoval, begin an elevation profile that will span Deer Island.

Dr. Kastler and Lamey established monument markers to establish three study sites for the current work and future projects. Student groups came from the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Central Florida, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and Northwest Missouri State University. Each group spent four days at GCRL. At Deer Island, students monitored the development of landscapes. Students collected data on dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, and pH in the water and made seine/yabby pump collections in the waters around the island. On shore, they measured elevation profiles and made vegetation transects. The students' efforts provided valuable information on the ecosystem changes as the dredge material was incorporated into the island. In return, the students learned new scientific skills, experienced the process of science in the field, and received a preview of potential careers in science.

This initial effort established a baseline of data and methods that will be used annually to continue monitoring Deer Island restoration with the Oceanography class in GCRL's Summer Field Program

Binnaz Bailey, Sam Clardy, Ruby Drieling and Devaney Cheramie (left to righ) marked ten years of service at GCRL
Binnaz Bailey, Sam Clardy, Ruby Drieling and Devaney Cheramie (left to right) marked service anniversaries at GCRL - 20 years for Ruby and 10 years for Binnaz, Sam, and DeVaney..

GCRL Celebrates USM Founders Day

GCRL celebrated the 104th anniversary of the founding of the University of Southern Mississippi in a brief gathering in the dining hall on March 27, 2014. Verlee Breland and Ruby Drieling were honored on their completion of 20 years of service. 10 year service awards went to Binnaz Bailey, Devaney Cheramie, Sam Clardy, and Margaret Firth.

March 2014

GCRL Director Dr. Eric Powell is one of 19 Gulf Coast leaders chosen to participate the Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation's 2014 Masters Program.
GCRL Director Dr. Eric Powell is one of 19 Gulf Coast leaders chosen to participate the Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation's 2014 Masters Program.

Powell Chosen for Business Council Masters Program

GCRL Director Dr. Eric Powell is one of 19 Gulf Coast leaders chosen to participate the Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation's 2014 Masters Program. The Masters Program, inaugurated in 2007, identifies and develops emerging leaders in eight sessions during a one-year “think tank” on various topics concerning the Gulf Coast. Final white paper reports from previous classes are available on the Gulf Coast Business Council website.

The 2014 program theme is “Leveraging the Assets of the Gulf of Mexico for Regional Viability.” Participants will explore how to achieve sustainable growth of the Coast's environmental, social, and economic resources using resources related to our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Powell is joined in the Program by Dr. Kelly Lucas, Chief Scientific Officer for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Their experience and expertise in marine sciences will be key to the 2014 program's success. Dr. Powell also heads the Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS), one of the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC). SCeMFiS partners with industry groups to provide academic research products essential for the sustainable management of shellfish and finfish resources.

GCRL consultant Julia Weaver serves as co-chairman of the 2014 Masters Program.

Media release from the Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation.

Griffitt and Bayha Present Research Results at 2014 Ocean Science Meeting

Dr. Joe Griffitt was invited to share the results of his research on nanomaterials at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 23-28 in Honolulu. The annual international conference is sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the American Geophysical Union, and the Oceanography Society. Nearly 5600 scientists, researchers, and others from around the world participated.

Dr. Griffitt's presentation was titled "Particle Surface Functionalization Influences Uptake, Retention and Internalization of Quantum Dots in Daphnia." The paper described a portion of his work in understanding how potentially toxic nanomaterials in consumer products can accumulate in aquatic organisms.

GCRL Post Doc Keith Bayha described his recent work in a presentation titled "Examining the Effects of Oil Exposure on Immune Function and Susceptibility to Pathogenic Bacteria of Gulf of Mexico Fishes." Among other conclusions, his worked showed that oil exposure does increase susceptibility of southern flounder to infection by the pathogenic bacterium Vibrio anguillarum.

Mark Peterson and Nancy Brown-Peterson Conduct Course in Mexico

Mark Peterson and Nancy Brown-Peterson with students and faculty of CICMAR-IPN
Mark Peterson and Nancy Brown-Peterson with students and faculty of CICMAR-IPN. Larger image

Mark Peterson and Nancy Brown-Peterson spent a week in February at the Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas del lnstituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN) in La Paz, Mexico as part of the Program of Distinguished Professors sponsored by the Mexican Academy of Sciences. Their host at CICIMAR-IPN was Dr. Victor Hugo Cruz Escalona, Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Marine Biology. Mark and Nancy taught a course titled “Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Ecological Metrics for Fishes to 25 graduate students, faculty, and staff.  The two-part course focused on reproductive biology of marine fishes (taught by Nancy) and metric and non-metric analyses of biological and community data (taught by Mark). 

Mark and Nancy also worked with faculty and graduate students on manuscripts and future research plans. This visit initiated the development of a Memoriam of Understanding between USM/GCRL and CICIMAR-IPN for continued academic exchanges which will include teaching, graduate student training, workshop development, and collaborative research.

2014 Hurricane Bowl Results

Following a weather delay, the 2014 Hurricane Bowl took place on March 8. Congratulations to Poplarville High School on their first place win in both the A and B brackets. Poplarville High now moves on to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Seattle on May 1 - 4.   More on Hurricane Bowl.

A Bracket

  • Poplarville High School,
  • Ocean Springs High School
  • Long Beach High School
  • Pearl River Central High School
  • Bay High School

    B Bracket

  • Poplarville High School
  • Long Beach High School
  • St. Martinville High School
  • Bay High School
  • Corey Russo with People's Choice Award certificate from the LUMCON CSS conference.
    Corey Russo with People's Choice Award certificate from the annual Graduate Student Symposium.

    Corey Russo Wins People's Choice Award at GSS Symposium

    In February, Ph.D. student Corey Russo received the People's Choice Award at the 2014 session of the annual Graduate Student Symposium for his presentation on his research into viral species associated with bottlenose dolphins. The Symposium is an annual event conducted by graduate students in marine, biological, and environmental sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of South Alabama, and Louisiana State University. The 2014 session was hosted by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

    Corey's has studied serum and blowhole swab samples from wild dolphins to characterize the ecology of viruses affecting the animals. He has focused on the morbillivirus, which has been implicated in an unusual number of dolphin mortalities on the U.S. east coast.

    Corey's research was the subject of an oral presentation at the 78th Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences earlier this month and is on the agenda for annual General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in May 2014.

    High School Student Travels from Germany to Intern at GCRL

    Robert Still, intern in Dr. Jay Grimes's lab
    Robert Still, visiting intern from Stuttgart, Germany.

    10th grader Robert Still recently completed a three-week internship working in the microbiology lab of Dr. Jay Grimes. Robert is a American who lives in Stuttgart, Germany with his family; his father is an engineer on assignment there. Robert explained that in German schools, all students are expected to do an internship during their 10thgrade year. Most students spend their time somewhere in Europe, but Robert’s interest in marine science, and sharks in particular, and his Mississippi connections led him to GCRL.

    Robert's grandparents reside in Jackson and his older sister is studying music education at USM in Hattiesburg. Seizing the initiative, Robert contacted the university and was eventually referred to Dr. Grimes. Robert's work in Dr. Grimes's lab involves assisting with experiments, primarily inoculations. When asked what was the most important thing he learned, Robert immediately responded, “ I learned what patience means!”

    Robert said that the coursework at the International School of Stuttgart is challenging and advanced. He was surprised by the emphasis on written composition and reports. He noted that he'd already been required to write two essays in his physical education class. He's happy that the family will soon be returning home. Robert hopes to participate in the Shark Fest program at GCRL one day and plans to pursue a career in marine sciences.

    February 2014

    World Renowned GCRL Researcher Retires

    Robin Overstreet

    The year 1969 was one of the most influential in modern American history. It marked the end of a socially and politically tumultuous decade whose influence still resonates today. In 1969, man walked on the moon, the Boeing 747 took flight, and Woodstock Festival gave us "3 Days of Peace & Music." 1969 also marks a milestone in the history of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory - Robin M. (Bob) Overstreet began his career in aquatic parasitology at GCRL.

    Dr. Overstreet’s career accomplishments were well described in 2012 when his life’s work was chronicled in the Lab’s "Pioneers in Marine and Fisheries Research at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory" web series.

    By any measure Robin Overstreet is an elite scientist.  According to his curriculum vitae, he has published more than 300 peer-reviewed research papers, garnered almost $20 million in extramural support for his own research, and collaborated on a total of about $50 million in research funding. He has mentored students ranging from high school to post-graduate, including 16 who earned their graduate degrees working in Overstreet’s laboratory.  Many consider him to be the premier aquatic parasitologist, both marine and freshwater, in the world.  

    Now he is opening another chapter in his professional career. On February 1, 2014, Bob Overstreet officially began his retirement. After a 90-day hiatus for his laboratory home, he will return to GCRL to continue in a part-time capacity working with fellow parasitologists and students.  All of us at GCRL wish Robin well in this new phase of his career.

    Kelsey Kuykendall

    Kelsey Kuykendall Receives Award

    GCRL graduate student was awarded a travel award to attend the National Shellfisheries Association 106th Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida this year from March 29 through April 2. Kelsey studies Marine Biology here at GCRL. She applied for the award and it will cover her travel expense to attend the conference. On Monday during the conference Kelsey Kuykendall will present a paper on "The Cost Benefit Ratio of Shell vs Limestone for Cultch Material". Kelsey said the paper was an outcome of the work done by a seven-member team studying the economics of rebuilding oyster seed ground. As part of the award Kelsey was asked to volunteer and help with conference activities. Congratulations to Kelsey. 

    Kelsey was featured in a 2013 GCRL in the News article describing a NOAA survey cruise she made out of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

    Shane Overstreet with his tagged 18"striper.

    Tagged Striped Bass Caught by GCRL Employee

    Shane Overstreet, deckhand aboard GCRL's Tom McIlwain was fishing on the Tchoutacabouffa River near the Cedar Lake Bridge in Biloxi when he caught the tagged bass. Shane reported that it was easy to tell that the bass was tagged. He followed the protocol for reporting the fish, providing researchers with valuable information. 
    He measured the striped bass at 18". Shane ate the filets, but saved the remains and delivered them to GCRL staff for DNA mapping. 



    January 2014

    Lyndsay Carrigee - Eagle SPUR Award Winner

    Lyndsay Carrigee and her mentor, Dr. Joe Griffitt
    Lyndsay Carrigee and her mentor, Dr. Joe Griffitt.

    Lyndsay Carrigee, undergraduate intern for Dr. Joe Griffitt has been named one of the 2013 Fall Eagle SPUR award recipients. The Eagle Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research, (Eagle SPUR) is provides funding support for independent research and scholarly and creative activity conducted by an undergraduate student in collaboration with a faculty sponsor. Lyndsay will receive $1000 to support a research project investigating the effect of nanoparticulate metals on bacterial populations in larval zebrafish. Dr. Joe Griffitt is Lyndsay’s mentor for the project.





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