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Seminar: Monday, January 23, 2022

Dr. Joesting with medium length strawberry blonde hair smiles into the camera wearing a black shirt.
Dr. Heather Joesting
Georgia Southern University

Please join us on Monday January 23 at 12:40 pm for the UGA Department of Marine Sciences seminar. To kick off (Go Dawgs) the semester, Dr. Heather Joesting, an Associate Professor at Georgia Southern University, will present her work entitled “From Seeds to Shoreline: Nursery Production of Spartina alterniflora for Salt Marsh Restoration.” If anyone would like to meet with the speaker after the talk, please email me to set up a meeting (



Coastal salt marshes are highly productive habitats and provide numerous ecosystem services. However, salt marshes are declining globally due to a myriad of factors, leading to increased efforts to restore these habitats and their ecological processes. Along the Eastern and Gulf Coast of the U.S., the native plant Spartina alterniflora is often used in restoration projects due to its vital role in salt marsh growth and maintenance. The aim of this research is to develop a series of propagation protocols for local (GA) Spartina to facilitate the production of a native nursery stock with high genetic variation for restoration projects in Georgia. Specifically, our research has three goals: (1) characterize the fecundity of Spartina in coastal Georgia marshes, (2) optimize seed propagation protocols for Georgia plants, and (3) explore alternative nursery production methods. To achieve these goals, Spartina seeds were collected from multiple marshes in Fall 2019 – 2021 and assessed for number of seeds per spikelet and seed viability. Collected seeds were stored under cold, wet conditions for at least 3 months, after which germination was monitored under various environmental conditions. Surviving seedlings were then used in experiments investigating growth and productivity using alternative production methods, including growth in an aboveground wetland designed for aquaculture water remediation and in soils inoculated with marsh soil from natural habitats. The results from this research will aid in the nursery production of native Spartina for salt marsh restoration projects in coastal Georgia by providing recommendations for optimum methods and conditions for the collection, storage, germination, and growth of Spartina.


The Zoom link for those of you joining from your computers will be Marine Sciences Room 239 and the Skidaway Auditorium will either host the speaker or have a live feed of the talk.


The room will open at 12:20 pm, and the talk will begin at 12:40 pm.


Our schedule of talks this semester is listed on the calendar:


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