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Department of Marine Science
Coastal Carolina University
PO Box 261954
Conway, SC 29523

Coastal Science Center
in the Atlantic Center
301 Allied Drive,
Conway, SC 29526
(refer to the Campus Map).

Contact Susan Soucy at soucy@coastal.edu
or call

843-349-2219 (phone)
843-349-2545 (fax)


Marine Biology Research

  • Invertebrate ecology (Mr. Berkowitz, Dr. Harding, Dr. Koepfler, Dr. Walters)
  • Microbial and plankton ecology (Dr. Koepfler)
  • Nekton ecology and behavior, including:
    • Estuarine and coastal fish (Dr. Abel, Dr. Harding, Dr. Young)
    • Marine mammals (Dr. Young)
    • Sea turtles (Dr. Koepfler)
    • Sharks (Dr. Abel)
  • Physiological ecology of marine organisms (Dr. Abel, Dr. Harding)
  • Salt marsh and wetland restoration ecology (Dr. Walters)
  • Systems ecology, particularly in salt marshes and estuaries (Dr. Harding, Dr. Koepfler, Dr. Walters, Dr. Young)
  • Molecular marine biology (Dr. Burge)
  • Invasion biology and ecology (Dr. Harding)
  • Community ecology (Dr. Harding)
  • Sclerochronology (Dr. Harding)
  • Molluscan ecology, population dynamics and aquaculture (Dr. Harding)




  • Dr. Daniel Abel (Professor) has research interests in the fields of shark biology and environmental science. He also has a national reputation for his innovative work in the development of techniques for teaching critical thinking skills to students. He is the co-author of the textbooks Environmental Issues and Issues in Oceanography.


  • Dr. Erin Burge (Associate Professor) is a molecular marine biologist who has investigated numerous topics, including host-pathogen interactions between striped bass and mycobacteria, shrimp immune gene expression, ecotoxicology in the mummichog, and the environmental immunology of oysters. His teaching and research focus on molecular mechanisms of immunity and physiological adaptation to pathogens and environmental stressors in fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.


  • Dr. Juli Harding (Assistant Professor) has research interests in marine ecology, with an emphasis on the community ecology of coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Recent projects include research ranging from trophic dynamics to benthic-pelagic coupling, population dynamics, restoration and conservation ecology, sclerochronology and its applications to environmental reconstruction and archaeology, as well as the biology and ecology of invasive species. Her research and teaching use molluscan and fish populations to address topics in marine community ecology and place these communities within the broader context of ecosystem function across spatial and temporal scales.


  • Dr. Eric Koepfler's (Professor) expertise is in the field of microbial ecology. He has conducted research in both benthic and pelagic systems ranging from freshwater (James River in Virginia) to hypersaline benthic (Laguna Madre in Texas) environments. His specific research interest is in the examination of microbial involvement in carbon production, food web dynamics, and biogeochemical nutrient cycling. He is presently researching microbial community response to maturation of tidal marsh creek systems associated with sea level rise.


  • Dr. Keith Walters (Professor) is a marine ecologist currently studying invertebrate population and community ecology within estuarine systems. A former Fulbright scholar, Dr. Walters' research experiences range from investigating arctic sea-ice communities in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to subtropical seagrass systems in Brisbane, Australia. Recent research interests include wetland restoration, salt marsh plant-animal interactions, copepod metapopulation processes, and marine snow dynamics


  • Dr. Robert Young (Professor) is a biological oceanographer. His research interests include the ecology and behavior of fishes and bottlenose dolphins in coastal, estuarine, and salt marsh systems. He is also the director of the Rising Tide Project, which promotes research collaboration between faculty, undergraduates, and local science teachers.