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Call For Abstracts

Graduate Program in Marine Biology
University of Charleston, South Carolina/Grice Marine Laboratory
Student Marine Biology Research Colloquium
October 13, 2018
Call For Abstracts

The Colloquium Committee is pleased to announce the Research Colloquium of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology (GPMB), to be held Saturday, October 13, 2018, in the auditorium of the Marine Resources Research Institute at the Fort Johnson campus.

The goals of the Colloquium are to:

  • increase awareness of ongoing marine biological research by GPMB and MES students,
  • give students experience with formal scientific presentations,
  • introduce new graduate students to research opportunities in marine biology, and
  • promote interaction among faculty and students.

All GPMB students (excluding incoming students) are expected to present their research (or proposed research) in the Colloquium. MES students conducting research in marine biology are also invited to participate. All Marine Biology students are expected to give at least one oral presentation in the Colloquium before graduating. 

An award will be given for the best overall oral presentation and an award will be given for the best poster. 

  • Deadline for Abstracts: September 13, 2018

Application instructions are below, and are also available on the Graduate Program in Marine Biology web site (

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ABSTRACTS (Due September 13, 2018 at 5pm)
Email your abstract, formatted as described below, as an attached file (Word document or plain text file), using the filename ‘yourlastname_abstract’ to Peter Bergeson In the text of the email, please answer the following questions:

1) What year are you in the GPMB program (first, second, third)?
2) Have you given a talk at the Colloquium previously?
3) Have you presented a poster at the Colloquium previously?

If your abstract includes any special characters, symbols, or other text that might be lost in electronic transfer, it is strongly recommended that you either include a PDF version as a separate attachment, or deliver a hard copy to the main office of the Grice Marine Lab; otherwise, hard copies are not necessary.

The title (all words bold and capitalized) should be followed by your name and affiliation (i.e., GPMB or MES). Major advisors and others should not be listed as coauthors but may be acknowledged in the oral presentation or on the poster. The abstract must be 250 words or fewer. An example is provided below.

Battaglia, FM (GPMB, The University of Charleston, SC)
Plastic pollution is one of the most common and persistent problems impacting marine ecosystems to date. An increasing number of studies focus on the potential for microplastics (< 5 mm) to negatively impact marine biota, such as by hindering nutritional uptake or as a possible route for toxin transfer. Ingestion of microplastics has been reported for a variety of lower trophic level organisms in both field and laboratory studies, including zooplankton, polychaetes, bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. Conversely, ingestion by higher trophic levels remains largely unexplored. The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a long-lived resident and apex predator in coastal and estuarine ecosystems along the southeastern United States and as such, can be a sensitive gauge for environmental quality within its range. The aim of the present study is to provide the first measure for microplastic ingestion in T. truncatus by analyzing the gut contents of stranded dolphins recovered in South Carolina, USA. It is hypothesized that T. truncatus may be exposed to microplastics through its prey. The gastrointestinal tract of stranded dolphins is removed and the contents washed into glass containers. Intact prey items and otoliths are stored for separate prey analysis while the remaining gut contents are sieved to separate into size fractions. A 1M KOH solution is added to eliminate organic material and facilitate the visual identification of microplastics in samples. Findings from this investigation will aid future studies examining microplastics as a possible route for the transfer of toxins to marine apex predators like T. truncatus.