The South Atlantic Chapter (SAC) provides several monetary awards to graduate, undergraduate, and minority students whose research pertains to wetland science or management, including research grants as well as travel awards to various annual meetings. Student awardees can be enrolled in either a public or private university located within the South Atlantic Chapter's region.
2018 Research Grant Winners
The South Atlantic Chapter is proud to announce Hayden Hays and Elena Solohin have been selected as the 2018 Research Grant winners.
“Mating behavior and reproductive success as a function of cheliped relations and color morphology in the Red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii”
The red swamp crayfish is a large-bodied crayfish native to Northeastern Mexico and the South Central United States. Despite the extensive research on the invasive potential of this organism, the behavioral aspects of the breeding system have been mostly neglected. I will investigate how various traits in male individuals influence female choice and mating success of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii. This females-driven mating system includes both chemical and visual cues, with the visual cues receiving the least attention. Previous research has shown female preference for males of larger body size, but not larger chelae size. This study seeks to tease apart the behavioral cause behind this distinction, through the testing of cheliped autotomy, chelae function, and chelae-body size ratio. I am also interested in the effects of different color morphologies on crayfish mating success, as this is a new topic that has not been studied previously. Finally, females will be allowed to produce eggs and their resulting hatchlings to understand the role of female mate choice on reproductive resource allocation.
“Response of tidal wetlands to rising sea level in three estuaries along the U.S. Southeast Atlantic coast”
Tidal wetlands are increasingly threatened by global climate change and anthropogenic activities. Future rates of sea level rise (SLR) and altered sediment supply due to land use change may have an impact on future tidal wetland ability to keep pace with rising seas. The goal of my project is to understand and predict the impact that rising sea level may have of tidal wetlands along the Atlantic Southeast coast. I intend to use a combination of soil and plant measurements, and remote sensing to understand how tidal marsh health and resiliency has changed over time along three Southeast estuaries: Cape Fear (NC), Edisto (SC), and Altamaha (GA). Understanding the response of marshes to changes in land use and human disturbances will inform coastal adaptive management in the face of climate change and sea level rise. Another important aspect of my project is expanding its educational potential by including the participation of undergraduate students in the research aspects of the study. The educational component is designed to encourage students engagement in a learning process with a strong emphasis on laboratory work. By providing educational opportunities and a learning experience to students, this project will promote the dissemination of the scientific content about coastal wetland science.
2018 Travel Awards to the SWS Annual Meeting
Travel awards were granted to the following students to help defray the costs to attend the SWS Annual Meeting in Denver. Congratulations!
Havalend Steinmuller - “Impacts of Vegetation Transitions on Biogeochemical Cycling within Coastal Wetlands”
Jessica Dell - “The Effects of Willow Encroachment on Peat Accumulation in an Herbaceous Peatland Following Drainage and Fire”
Steffanie Munguia - “Building Diverse Communities in the SWaMMP”
Travel Awards to the GERS & SWS-SAC/SCC Joint Fall 2016 Meeting
Travel awards were granted to students (graduate and undergraduate) to help defray the costs associated with travel and participation in the GERS-SWS meeting.
Kyle Dittmer, University of Central Florida
Kyle collects samples in Orlando Wetlands Park to examine temperature effects on greenhouse gas production along a nutrient gradient.
Havalend Steinmuller, Louisiana State University
Havalend observes the impacts of salinity and soil type on the potential release of nutrients from freshwater wetland soils.
Eunice Yarney, University of Florida
Eunice evaluates whether Irrigation Drainage Tile irrigation and drainage could reduce soil salinity as compared to conventional seepage irrigation and drainage.
Student Research Grants for the SWS Annual Meeting
The SAC offers two, $750 student research grants to graduate or undergraduate students conducting research in wetland science and who are enrolled in an accredited college or university in the SAC region (Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).
Please visit the SWS Student Research Grants webpage for application instructions.
2017 Grant Winners:
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
University of Georgia
I am broadly interested in the role that vegetation plays in mediating population dynamics in species with dual habitat requirements, particularly when these habitats are managed differentially. My current research focuses on examining how forest succession and restoration affect threatened amphibians across wetland-to-upland habitat within the longleaf pine ecosystem. As part of a collaborative project, I will be examining the performance of larval and juvenile amphibians before and after restoration of longleaf pine wetlands which have succeed due to fire suppression. Findings from this research will inform the management, restoration, and conservation of longleaf pine wetlands and the species that rely on them.
Environmental Engineering Sciences
University of Florida
My dissertation research is focused on the transport and fate of contaminants in coastal food webs. Using experimental and analytical approaches, I study how pathways for Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) biomagnification shift as predators undergo ontogenetic development. To do so, I study how age, prey network structure, and trophic position of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) influence their rate of PCB accumulation in Southeastern Georgia estuaries.
Travel Awards to the SWS 2015 Annual Meeting/Conferences
Travel Awards to Chapter Meetings & Other Conferences
- SAC Award Winners to Chapter Meetings and Other Conferences
- SAC Award Winners to ASB Meetings (no longer available)