Charleston Bump 2003
Principal Investigators
George R. Sedberry, Ph.D.
Senior Marine Scientist
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

George Sedberry is the Principal Investigator on the Ocean Exploration 2003 Expedition to the Charleston Bump. He spent his formative years on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, where he completed a B.S. degree in Biology at Old Dominion University, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. He is a Senior Marine Scientist at the Marine Resources Research Institute, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He is Assistant Director of MRRI where he has worked since 1980. His interests and experience are in the biology, conservation and management of reef fishes and highly migratory oceanic fishes, as well as deep-sea biology and coral-reef ecology. Most of his research is concentrated on hard bottom reefs of subtropical and temperate waters off the southeastern U.S., but he has conducted research on Marine Protected Areas in Belize and on population biology of fishes from the North and South Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the western South Pacific. He serves on the Marine Protected Areas Advisory Panel and the Snapper/Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; is Vice Chairman of the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council; and is on the boards of the Southeast Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence and the South Carolina Marine Educators Association. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston, where he advises graduate students and teaches marine fisheries science. He is a member of the American Fisheries Society, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and a fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. He has authored over 70 scientific publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.
Stephen E. Stancyk, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina

Dr. Stephen Stancyk has been a professor of Marine Science and Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina since 1975. Steve grew up in Colorado, and received his B.A. from the University of Colorado. He was awarded the M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Florida. Steve teaches courses in Marine Biology, Invertebrate Zoology and Reproductive Ecology. He has studied a wide range of organisms from sea turtles to copepods, and his current research centers around life histories and reproduction of ophiuroid echinoderms (brittlestars). He is particularly interested in how brittlestars have modified growth and reproductive patterns to adapt to frequent arm loss. Steve has been a P.I. on a previous manned submersible project and has performed research in a variety of marine habitats in Bermuda, the Caribbean, Central America, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Brazil, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. He enjoys fishing, boating, hiking, birdwatching and SCUBA.

Charles A. Barans, Ph.D.
Senior Marine Scientist
Marine Resources Research Institute,
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Charlie Barans entered this world a long time ago, grew up in the Midwest “corn belt” and experienced a brief post-high school stay onboard an aircraft carrier. Fortunately, he was guided away from Forestry as a career early at Ohio State University, where he talked them out of a BS degree. His interest in fish populations and communities intensified through further educational experiences (and more fast talking) at VIMS, for a MA in Marine Fisheries, and back to OSU, for a PhD. An early exposure to the excitement of environmental consulting outside of NY City and drinking Maalox from the bottle before and after staff meetings convinced him to pursue marine fisheries with SCDNR. He and his sparkling wife, Allene, have two wonderful daughters and, presently, are enjoying being “empty nesters.” For over 23 years, he assisted in guiding a dynamic team that developed fishery independent research and assessments for the NMFS’ largest continuous contract (MARMAP) in the southeast. The resulting long-term databases were created with standardized techniques for detection of future changes in species relative abundances and fish assemblages in several important habitats. Also, production scale processing of life history materials was established, and several assessment techniques, including routine use of underwater video were developed. Charlie has always believed that seemingly impossible fisheries research could be completed through team efforts and that positive attitudes among coworkers could be encouraged through camaraderie, encouragement and matching personal skills and interests with a program’s direction. He likes to promote laughter as a step toward group mental health. Presently continuing his long quest for a rapid and remote fishery assessment technique, he has focused on the application of multi-frequency acoustics to studying plankton transport through inlets. Strong belief in collaborative approaches and a wealth of great coworkers have assisted in the formation of interdisciplinary teams including the opportunity to help develop an expanding mentor based project to train minorities in marine and environmental science. Recent crusades include the establishment of marine fisheries reserves as ecosystem management tools and coaxing an underwater TV to send daily images from a reef fish assemblage at mid-shelf to a web site. He can’t believe that people actually read these sketches!

Dr. Brian Helmuth, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences and
Marine Sciences program, University of
South Carolina

Dr. Helmuth is a marine physiological ecologist with a focus on benthic invertebrates. He and his students use engineering methods (biophysics and biomechanics) to study the ways in which animals interact with their environment. Much of his most recent research has centered on the effects of climate change on intertidal animals in the eastern Pacific, and he and his colleagues have developed methods for predicting the temperatures of animals from climatic data. Dr. Helmuth also has extensive experience working on coral reefs, and he has active projects in Belize and Florida, including several saturation missions in the Aquarius habitat. Dr. Helmuth is a principal investigator for the Invertebrate Diversity project on this cruise, and will work with other team members to link aspects of small-scale water flow to patterns in invertebrate diversity. He also has a deep interest in developing collaborations between higher education faculty and K-12 students and teachers, and is an active member of the South Carolina Marine Educator’s Association. which can be found at
For more information on the Helmuth Lab, please visit their web site at
Leslie R. Sautter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Project Oceanica, Dept. of Geology and Environmental Geosciences,
College of Charleston

Leslie Sautter received her Ph.D. in geological sciences at the University of South Carolina in 1990. Her recent research focuses on the distribution and ecology of benthic foraminifera within surface sediments of the South Atlantic Bight. She is also examining the rocky outcrops exposed on the deep reef habitats of the shelf edge and Charleston Bump. Leslie became a geology department faculty member at the College of Charleston, SC in 1992, and teaches classes in marine and coastal geology and general marine science to undergraduates, graduate students and K-12 teachers. Her activities are devoted to promoting undergraduate research, and her involvement with developing new methods of teaching marine science to college students and teachers earned her the 2002 National Marine Education Award. With NOAA NOS funding, Sautter recently established Project Oceanica at the College of Charleston, which serves to bring scientific results to a broad audience of users – focusing on college students – through development of web-based research-oriented educational resource products. Leslie participated in both the Islands in the Stream 2001 and 2002 expeditions and will serve again as a shipboard geologist and science education liaison for the Charleston Bump 2003 expedition.

Richard Styles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Marine Science Program &
Department of Geological Sciences
University of South Carolina

Richard Styles grew up in Tennessee – an unlikely beginning for an oceanographer. After switching universities several times and a 3-year stint in the U.S. Army, Richard received a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Tennessee. He then moved south to obtain an M.S. degree in Physical Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology. From there, he traveled north to obtain his Ph.D. degree in Oceanography from Rutgers University in New Jersey. After graduating in 1998, Richard remained at Rutgers as a post-doctoral researcher and then as a research scientist. Richard joined the University of South Carolina in December of 2002 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences. His primary research interests include coastal processes and bottom boundary layer dynamics. He conducts research on the turbulent flow very near the seabed and develops mathematical models to describe this flow. In particular, he is interested in understanding how near-bed currents mix the water column and supply nutrients and food to bottom-dwelling organisms. Richard also conducts studies of sediment transport in the context of water quality and pollutant dispersal. His research has carried him from the murky cold waters of New Jersey to the warm inland estuaries of South Carolina.

Elizabeth L. Wenner, PhD.
Research Marine Scientist
Marine Resources Center
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Dr. Wenner grew up on Chesapeake Bay where she developed an early love for the sea and its inhabitants. After receiving a BS degree in Biology from Mary Washington College, she attended graduate school at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science of the College of William and Mary where she received MS and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Science. Her dissertation research described communities of decapod crustaceans along a depth gradient from the upper to lower continental slope in the Norfolk Canyon. She has worked for the last twenty-two years as a research marine scientist and program manager for Crustacean and Wetlands Research at the Marine Resources Center of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, located in Charleston, SC. During her tenure at the Marine Resources Center, she has studied invertebrate communities in a variety of habitats from estuaries to the deepsea. Her special interest is the decapod crustaceans or crabs and shrimps. Dr. Wenner also heads up the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center, housed within SCDNR’s Marine Resources Research Institute (MRRI). The SERTC provides a regional focus on developing taxonomic expertise and skills, as well as the infrastructure needed to support the natural resource management and scientific communities within the South Atlantic Bight. The Center is staffed by SCDNR employees with a background in taxonomy and serves as a clearinghouse, training facility, specimen repository, and a venue for a taxonomic library. Dr. Wenner works on numerous other projects at MRRI, and is principal investigator for the SEAMAP Shallow Water Trawl Program, serves as Research Coordinator for the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), and supervises the state’s crustacean monitoring program for blue crab and commercially important shrimp. She has been elected to numerous offices, including President of The Crustacean Society, an international scientific organization. Over the years, she has been appointed to serve on several national advisory and technical committees, including an appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee of the National Marine Fisheries Service. She has written over 80 scientific publications and in her spare time, enjoys showing her Labrador retrievers, running, gardening and antique collecting. She and her husband, Dr. Charles Wenner, live on beautiful Wadmalaw Island, a rural sea island located south of Charleston.
John McDonough
Special Projects Office, NOAA

John McDonough received his Master’s degree in environmental science and policy from the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC in 1998, and a B.S. in coastal geomorphology from the University of Maryland in 1989. He has been a physical scientist with NOAA’s National Ocean Service since 1989, where he developed data and geographic information systems related to coastal and marine environments, and applied that information to help prepare management plans for marine protected areas. Most recently, Mr. McDonough has been serving as the project manager for large-scale undersea research expeditions using a variety of tools and techniques including manned and unmanned submersibles. Specific efforts include the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a joint endeavor between NOAA and the National Geographic Society to explore the system of National Marine Sanctuaries managed by NOAA’s National Ocean Service. He is committed to exploring and learning more about natural systems in marine and coastal areas, providing the data and information required for effective ecosystem-based management.

Jeremy Potter
NOAA Office of Exploration

Jeremy Potter grew up in wild wonderful West Virginia and graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina. Immediately after college, he became nervous about beginning law school and ran off to Alaska to work as an observer in the Bering Sea crab fishery, and later as an instructor at the Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium. In 1997, he again ran from graduate school to spend one year teaching English in rural Japan. Three years later, he returned to the US to pursue his interests in international environmental politics, facilitation, and negotiation. Mr. Potter is a master’s student at the Duke University School of the Environment. His current research in international fisheries policy focuses on the Japanese pelagic longline industry. His fascination with the deep sea led him to NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) where he is a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Sea Grant Fellow. In the office, he spends most of his time integrating the operations and science programs.
Participating Scientists
Fred Andrus, Ph.D.
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
University of Georgia

Fred Andrus was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his BA and MA degrees in Anthropology with a focus in archaeology from the University of Georgia. He then expanded his education to include Geology, in which he earned his Ph.D. His research often focuses on the relationship between past climate, ecology, and human activity. For example, a recent project involved assessing changes in Pacific Ocean temperatures and fish populations through stable oxygen isotope analysis of fish otoliths excavated from archaeological sites on the coast of Peru. The goal of this research was to better define the Holocene history of El Niño and determine the ways in which it affected local human populations through time. Other projects also focus on the paleoclimatic and paleoecological records preserved in the geochemistry of marine oraganisms, such as mollusks and corals, and what these records tell us about past climate and human-environment interaction. Dr. Andrus will be collecting deep water corals on this cruise in order to help determine their growth rates, incremental periodicity, and utility as paleoclimate proxies by employing elemental, stable isotope and radioisotope chemistry.

Dewey Golub
Technology Specialist & Webmaster
Project Oceanica
College of Charleston

A love of the Ocean is what brought Dewey to where heam today. Dewey received A B.S. in Marine Biology from The College of Charleston in South Carolina in 1998. Dewey moved to Palm Beach Florida after graduation, scuba diving constantly working as a Dive Master aboard a few of the locally operated dive boats here he learned first hand reef habitats and their species interactions. Dewey also worked at the Marinelife Center of Juno Beach working as a Sea Turtle Biologist. The center was a Turtle rehabilitation clinic as well as conducting nesting surveys on five miles of very heavily nested beach. In the years after Florida Dewey spent time with a internet start-up in Boston learning technologies. The lure of the ocean called again and Dewey went to sea as a deckhand on 300+ ton motor yachts. Not much science, but the chance to sea many diverse ocean habitats from the large, cold water species of the Pacific NorthWest to the over fished Mediterranean. When he was recently offered the chance to return to the College of Charleston and marine sciences he jumped at it. Now Dewey works up the education outreach websites that accompany Scientific exploration and research in the SouthEast region. During the Charleston Bump mission Dewey will be build up the website you are now on, create educational resources and compile photo and video galleries.
Linda Harrell
Frank Helies
Marine Biology Research Technician
Fish Ecology Laboratory
University of South Carolina

Frank Helies was born and raised at the New Jersey shore, and received a BS in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina in 2002. He has research experience in zooplanktivory by marine invertebrates, particularly brittlestars, light trap modification for the capture of larval freshwater and saltwater fish, and fish otolith increment analysis. His research interests include the age, growth, life history and predation patterns of saltwater fish. He is currently working on the age and growth of larval and juvenile freshwater fish from the Savannah River Site with respect to anthropogenically impacted streams.

Dara Hooker
Laboratory Technician
Marine Science Program
University of South Carolina

Dara Hooker has been the lab technician for the Boundary Layer Stress and Sediment Transport (BLASST) laboratory since May of 2002. Dara has two undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina- a B.A. in International Studies and a B.S. in Marine Science. She will start work on her M.S. in Marine Science at USC this fall. This is her first research cruise on the open ocean. Dara will be gathering data using the CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) and the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). She will also be helping with the creation and deployment of the clod cards. Dara is interested in the dynamics of sediment transport, specifically as it relates to the spread of pollutants. She is also interested in the effect of current flow on the physiological characteristics of benthic invertebrates which makes this the perfect cruise for her.

Connie Leverett
Science Teacher Specialist
Burke High SchoolCharleston, South Carolina

Connie grew up along the Gulf Coast in Gulfport, Mississippi. Ever since she found her first hermit crab, she has loved the ocean and all the exciting critters that live in it! When scientists on the deep sea submersible Alvin made the first discoveries of organisms in hydrothermal vent communities, Connie and a couple of friends poured over the pictures in National Geographic in complete amazement. And now she is getting the opportunity to take part in an expedition using submersibles to explore the Charleston Bump!

Connie graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.S. in
Biology. Although Connie loved marine biology, teaching became herprofession because she loves exploring patterns in the natural world with students. Connie also has a Masters in Education from Southern. Connie's been teaching school for nineteen years. Connie's jobs have included teaching biology, physical science, marine camp at the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center, and teaching teachers in Curriculum Leadership Institutes when she worked at the Charleston Math & Science Hub as the Science Specialist. Currently, Connie is the Science Teacher Specialist at Burke High School. Go Bulldogs! She is also an Educational Leadership Partner at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. In all of her teaching jobs, principles of marine biology and oceanography have been woven into the curriculum and the distinctive adaptations of hydrothermal vent organisms have always been a favorite topic. Connie is looking forward to learning more about the organisms of the Charleston Bump and the physical parameters of this area of the ocean on this cruise!

Joshua K. Loefer
Marine Biologist
Marine Resources Research Institute,
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Josh Loefer is a Marine Biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He will assist with cruise logistics, data acquisition, GIS analysis, and sample collection. Josh holds a BA in biology from Furman University in 1996, and an MS in Marine Biology from the University of Charleston (SC) in 2000. His main research interests: the life history of sharks, snappers, and groupers; satellite telemetry tagging of billfishes and sharks; and the hydrography of the Charleston Bump complex.

Jerry A. McLelland
Research Associate
Department of Coastal Sciences
University of Southern Mississippi

Jerry McLelland, a native of Mississippi, has worked for 25 years as a marine biologist at USM’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory specializing in invertebrate taxonomy, systematics and ecology with expertise both in the planktonic and benthic environments. His background includes investigations into coastal and marine habitats of the northern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, and several sites in the Caribbean Sea, including the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Tobago. His publication record includes new species descriptions of Polychaeta, Chaetognatha and Cumacea. He is currently working on doctoral research on zoogeography and systematics of deep-water Tanaidacea, micro-crustaceans similar to isopods. Mr. McLelland will assist in collecting plankton and benthic invertebrates and hopes to obtain tanaid specimens for his research

Denise Strickland
Laboratory Technician
Marine Science Program, College of Education
University of South Carolina

Denise Strickland is a lab technician for Dr. Brian Helmuth, working on various biophysics projects and education initiatives. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina, and hopes to start graduate school next fall. Her previous research includes work at the University of South Carolina and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory involving American alligator population genetics and quantification of mercury in alligator tissues. During the cruise, she will be working on invertebrate taxonomy and education, two of her primary interests. Her other interests include invertebrate reproductive strategies and physiological adaptations of intertidal organisms.

Susan Thornton-DeVictor
Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Charleston, SC

Susan is a laboratory assistant at SERTC, where she has been responsible for developing and maintaining a literature database for the taxonomic reprint and book library. Susan also collects organisms for the curated specimen collection from the South Atlantic Bight, often using SCUBA to collect in deeper offshore areas or in estuaries. Susan has been maintaining SERTC’s website ( which has recently been launched. Susan also assists with building and maintaining our specimen image library, which utilizes my keen interest in scientific and underwater photography.

Susan's background includes a B.S. in Biological Sciences from SUNY Stony Brook, several years of high school teaching, and graduate school at Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center. Her Masters work (completed in 2000) investigated the growth rate of the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides, or Mustard Hill coral. She spent several years doing assessment, monitoring and restoration work on coral reefs in south Florida, Puerto Rico, and various areas in the Caribbean. Her interest in coral growth and ecology transcends to deeper water species, which are among the goals of this year’s Ocean Explorer cruise. Susan hopes to gain valuable knowledge as well as contribute to scientific and educational aspects of the mission.

Phil Weinbach
GIS Manager
South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources

Phil Weinbach grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He moved to Charleston in 1992 to attend the College of Charleston. He earned a BS in Marine Biology in 1996 followed by a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Charleston in 1998. His love for the ocean and the outdoors has kept him in beautiful Charleston and has allowed him to enjoy his favorite hobbies: fishing, surfing and boating. Phil began working for the Marine Resources Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in 1998 and is currently the GIS Manager. He is actively involved in many projects for the DNR including the Charleston Bump study. He has participated in several longlining cruises involving satellite tagging swordfish and various shark species. While at sea with the Ocean Exploration, Phil will use his GIS skills to help researchers decide on dive sites and analyze data.
David M. Wyanski
Fish Biologist
Marine Resources Research Institute
South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources

David Wyanski is a fish biologist with the Marine Resources Monitoring Assessment and Prediction (MARMAP) Program, a cooperative fishery-independent monitoring and research program that is based at SCDNR in Charleston, SC, and supported by the National Marine Fisheries Service. He is a native of the New England states and received a B.A. degree in Zoology from the University of Maine. After working in Savannah, Georgia, as a research technician for a fish ecologist and as a middle school science teacher, he migrated to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, to complete an M.S. degree in Marine Science. He presently oversees the studies of fish reproduction that are part of the life history research being conducted by MARMAP and participates in cruises to monitor the size and abundance of reef fishes off the southeast coast of the U.S. His other research interests are the taxonomy, growth, and movements of marine fish. During the Charleston Bump mission, he will put his fish taxonomy skills to work by examining rarely encountered species collected on sub dives and by identifying fishes on videotape records from sub dives.

Ph. 843-953-7263
Project Oceanica
Dept. of Geology & Environmental Geosciences
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424
Fax 843-953-7850