Welcome to the Coastal Ecology and Seagrass Biology Lab

We are part of the School of Ocean Science and Technology and Division of Coastal Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi. Our lab is located at the Gulf Coastal Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, MS. 

Research in our lab focuses on:

1) The functional role of submerged, floating, and emergent coastal plants as habitat and food for nearshore animals

2) Reproductive ecology of submerged plants, including controls on reproductive timing and output, seed dispersal and seedling                 recruitment, and

3) Ecological consequences of complexity across scales in coastal ecosystems

We use a combination of laboratory and field experiments and surveys to address hypothesis-driven questions related to coastal and benthic processes and relevant to coastal management, conservation and restoration. We have several ongoing projects with collaborators across the Gulf of Mexico. You can read more here


4/10/18: Construction of the R/V Thalinectes is done, just in time for summertime sampling. See the boat here

1/25/18: Our lab, in collaboration with the Craboratory at USM, received a grant from Coypu Foundation to purchase a research boat. Construction of the 24' aluminum "R/V Thalinectes" (Thalassia + Callinectes) is currently underway at Hanko's Metal Works in Berwick, LA! You can check out photos of the boat here.

11/15/17: This position has been filled. We seek a Research Technician to begin February 1, 2018 on the recently funded project “Gulf-Wide Assessment of Habitat Use and Habitat-Specific Production Estimates of Nekton in Turtlegrass.” Please see Opportunities for more information. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.

08/10/17: The Coastal Ecology and Seagrass Biology Lab receives funding from the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program! You can read more here.

07/01/17: The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory announces Graduate Fellowships in Coastal Sciences. You can learn more about these opportunities here.

03/22/17: We are recruiting a Ph.D. student to begin August 2017. This student will be co-advised with Dr. Zack Darnell and will investigate the use of turtlegrass beds as habitat by nekton across the Gulf of Mexico. This position has been filled.


A turtlegrass ( Thalassia testudinum ) seedling in Aransas Bay, TX

A turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum) seedling in Aransas Bay, TX

Fragmented smooth cordgrass ( Spartina alterniflora ) in Terrebonne Bay, LA

Fragmented smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in Terrebonne Bay, LA