I did my master’s research with Dr. Erik Sotka at the College of Charleston studying the invasive seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla (check out a video that gives a great overview of the Sotka Lab, including some highlights of my research, here). Gracilaria vermiculophylla is native to the northwestern Pacific and has been introduced to all the major coastlines of the northern hemisphere, including the soft-sediment tidal flats of South Carolina and Georgia. The photo above (reproduced from Byers et al. 2012) is a picture of a single mudflat in Charleston, South Carolina that is covered with Gracilaria. Very interestingly, all those clumps of seaweed are being used as decoration by the native polycheate worm Diopatra cuprea. Read more about the association between Gracilaria and Diopatra below – as well as other research in the Sotka lab that I am involved with.