MDMR to Present Fall Science Seminar: Marsh Dwellers

12-72-CWS | October 18, 2012

BILOXI, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) Shrimp and Crab Bureau, along with the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) will present a free seminar entitled “Marsh Dwellers” on Oct. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the first floor meeting room of the Bolton State Building, 1141 Bayview Ave., Biloxi.


The free seminar will begin with a brief overview by MDMR Shrimp and Crab Bureau Director Traci Floyd and continue with presentations on tidal marsh birds, blue crabs, diamondback terrapins and salt marsh grasshoppers in Mississippi and the northern Gulf.


Dr. Mark Woodrey is a coastal ecologist with the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center and Research Coordinator for the NERR. He will highlight on-going research focused on breeding marsh birds, in particular clapper rails and seaside sparrows. Marshes along the northern Gulf coast have some of highest densities of marsh birds and thus understanding the factors that affect them is of critical importance.


Darcie Graham is the assistant director for the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab and Harriet Perry is the recently retired director of the center and continues to be an active and essential research leader in the Gulf. Graham will discuss the ongoing study of harvest and fishing effort in Mississippi’s blue crab fishery and Perry will give an overview of the crab resource based on her years of experience.


Christina Mohrman is an estuarine ecologist and is the coordinator of Research Programs/Services for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center at the NERR. She will talk about the ecology and history of Diamondback terrapins, as well as current research on terrapin nesting ecology in Mississippi. Terrapins have great ecological, cultural, and historical importance.


Jessica Dean is a biology graduate student at the University of South Alabama and Eric Sparks is a graduate student in the Marine Sciences department at the University of South Alabama and Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Together they will discuss research about salt marsh grasshoppers. These grasshoppers are the most abundant grazers of black needlerush leaves and are highly influenced by small changes in the environment. They will discuss the distribution of these grasshoppers and some potential influences on their feeding behavior.


Everyone is welcome to attend. Please contact NERR Coastal Training Program coordinator Avia Huisman at or 228-475-7047 if you have questions about this seminar.


The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the MDMR online at




Contact: Shelly Becker
Phone: (228) 523.4051