St. Mary’s College of Maryland students and alumni presented their research at the 22nd Biennial Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) with impressive results. St. Mary’s College biology professors Chris Tanner and Bob Paul traveled with 19 current students and alumni to the conference, held in San Diego this past November.
Cara Simpson ’13 won the Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation Award for her St. Mary’s Project, “Modeling blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) growth in the Chesapeake Bay.” Her project was mentored by Dr. Emily Rauschert. Mike Kuschner ’11 won the Best Graduate Poster Award for his work at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. His poster was titled “Modeling the effect of hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) aquaculture on system-level processes within Cherrystone Inlet, Va.”
Hannah Coe ’13 presented her SMP, “Beyond spat: Faunal colonization of oyster reef restoration materials,” mentored by Dr. Chris Tanner. Elizabeth Lee ’13 presented her SMP, “Comparison of substrates for St. Mary’s River oyster reef restoration,” mentored by Dr. Bob Paul. Julie Walker ’13 presented her SMP, “Is seagrass the solution? The effect of eelgrass on Eastern oyster biomineralization,” mentored by Dr. Chris Tanner. And student Olivia Caretti ’14 presented her paper, “Settle down!: Crab larvae settlement preferences in shifting coastal ecosystems.”
Professors Tanner and Paul also presented their recent research, “Empowering undergraduate students through participation in coastal restoration.”
“Competition was stiff at the CERF conference, but we had excellent results,” said Paul. We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments, and it is gratifying that we are preparing our students so well for professional careers in marine science.”