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Sensational Seaweeds of South Carolina with Dr. Heather Spaulding of College of Charleston

Free with Garden Admission

Ron Daise Auditorium

Thu, Sep 5 2024, 10:30 - 11:30am
Thu, Sep 5 2024


Despite South Carolina’s reputation as a destination for beautiful sandy beaches, the waters of South Carolina contain a diverse and interesting flora of seaweed just below the surface. Dr. Spaulding is a phycologist (a person who studies algae), and she will titillate your mind and senses with the science and beauty of seaweed in our local waters!  

Join her in creating your own press of seaweed and learn about the techniques that she uses to discover, preserve, and describe new species of seaweed from around the world.  

About the Speaker: 

Dr. Heather Spalding grew up on a small cattle farm in Kentucky but was usually found underwater in the murky depths of the farm pond exploring the mud and “moss”. She received her undergraduate degree in marine science from Southampton College at Long Island University. This led to an internship on kelp forest ecology at Moss Landing Marine Labs (MLML) with Dr. Mike Foster, where she discovered that being comfortable underwater in low light was a useful skill for a phycologist (a person who studies algae). After completing her master’s degree in marine science at MLML, she was lured to the University of Hawaii to study mesophotic (deep water) macroalgae with Dr. Isabella Abbott and Dr. Celia Smith. The algae occurred a bit deeper in those clear tropical waters, so she learned how to use technical diving, rebreathers, and submersibles to study mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago.  She is currently a professor of marine biology at the College of Charleston, where the water is still murky, but the algae are spectacular.