CofC Logo

Departmental Seminars

Fall Semester 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

4:30-5:30 PM in SSMB 129

The Coastal Geology and Ecology of South Carolina

Miles Hayes and Jacqueline Michel, Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, SC [flier]

The coastal geology of South Carolina is complex, formed by the combined processes of sea level rise, sediment supply, waves, and tides. This presentation consists of two parts. Part I describes the general processes and landforms of the coast, explaining the history of how the South Carolina coast evolved and how processes such as waves, tides, sediment supply, and sea level rise have combined to produce the modern coastal features such as barrier islands, deltas, estuaries, tidal flats, and salt marshes. Discussion of the impacts of hurricanes, changes in sediment supply that are both natural and man-made, the beach cycle, and methods to control erosion is included. Part II describes in more detail the coastal geomorphology of each of four compartments: the Grand Strand; the Delta Region; the Barrier Islands; and the Low Country. Explanations are provided for key features of the coast such as Carolina bays, capes, barrier islands, and tidal inlets.

Monday, September 19, 2016

12:00 PM in SSMB 138

Sickle Cell, Sea Stars, by the Sea Shore

John Wares, Department of Genetics, Oden School of Ecology, University of Georgia [website]

One of the most astonishing pandemics to strike marine populations in recent years, Sea Star Wasting Disease (SSWD) has killed up to 95% of the individual sea stars in 20 or more species along the Pacific coast of North America. John will talk about a fortuitous discovery of a single gene polymorphism in the iconic ochre sea star, Pisaster ochraceus, that reduces the prevalence of SSWD by 20% in individual sea stars carrying a particular mutation at a “housekeeping” gene, elongation factor 1-alpha. This mutation is lethal when homozygous, so the parallels with sickle-cell disease and increased survival to malaria will be discussed briefly, along with future directions for understanding this interaction between evolutionary diversity, disease, and the consequences for Pacific intertidal communities.