Call For Abstracts

Graduate Program in Marine Biology
University of Charleston, South Carolina/Grice Marine Laboratory
Marine Research Student Colloquium
October 22 and 23, 2021
Call for Abstracts

The Colloquium Committee is pleased to announce the Marine Research Student Colloquium of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology (GPMB) which will be held online on Friday, October 22nd and Saturday, October 23rd, 2021.

The goals of the Colloquium are to:

  • Increase awareness of ongoing student led research on marine systems
  • Give students experience with formal scientific presentations
  • Introduce new graduate students to research opportunities in marine biology
  • Promote interaction among faculty and students

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

First and second place awards will be given for the best overall oral and poster presentations. Monetary awards are kindly provided by the Charleston Chapter of Sigma Xi and Charleston Audubon.

  • Deadline for Abstracts: October 1st, 2021 at midnight.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ABSTRACTS (Due October 1st at midnight)

Click Here to Submit Abstract!

Be prepared to upload a word doc containing your abstract using the filename ‘yourlastname_abstract’ to the google form link provided above.

Your title (all words bold) should be followed by your name and affiliation (i.e., GPMB or EVSS). 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.


Quantifying microplastics in the gut of stranded common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from South Carolina, USA

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.