The sotka lab at grice marine laboratory
The Grice Marine Laboratory is home to the College of Charleston academic programs in Marine Biology, including the Sotka Lab. The lab supports teaching and research in marine sciences. The laboratory is located at Fort Johnson on James Island, South Carolina.
what does the sotka lab research?
The Sotka lab has currently been researching the non-native seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla found within South Carolina estuaries. Gracilaria is originally from east Asia, but it has invaded the southeastern United States. This hearty seaweed has been successful in this region because it is more tolerant of salinity and temperature variation than other seaweeds. Researching this invasion is significant because South Carolina mudflats have not had macrophytes (large aquatic plants) in the past. This is a great opportunity to study the consequences of invasions in this specific ecosystem.
The lab is working together at phenotyping populations of Gracilaria from different regions including the southeast, northeast, and Pacific northwest regions of the United States, as well as populations from Japan. They are phenotyping Gracilaria's tolerance of salinity, thermal tolerance, herbivory, and the architecture (or structure) of this invasive seaweed.
What is phenotyping?
Phenotyping is the make up of an organism's observable characteristics. These are things that we can observe and see with our eyes such as a plant or animal's morphology, development, or behavior.