Faculty

 
Gordon Sproul  Gordon D. Sproul, Ph.D.
  Professor of Chemistry and Chair
  Department of Natural Science
  Office 843-521-4162
  Visit Dr. Sproul's Website
  gdsproul@uscb.edu
  Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from University of Illinois
  M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from University of Illinois
  B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College
 
  While I was preparing lecture notes for general chemistry in the 1990's and attempting
 to
  simplify the concept of chemical bonding for my students, I realized that there
  was a connection between bonding and electronegativity that had not been pursued

  by others. I analyzed this relationship, compared it with the ideas of other researchers,

  and arrived at a description of bonding that related the three types of bonding between

  pairs of atoms: ionic, covalent (molecular) and metallic. This research was published in

  a series of several papers in refereed journals and has since been included in both general

  chemistry and in inorganic chemistry textbooks. In the mid 2000's I teamed up with
  Professor Stephen Borgianini to evaluate the types of fatty acids found in local fiddler
  crabs.
  The purpose of this has been to determine what, if any, connection there is
  between the
 fatty acid content of crabs that live in the saline estuarine environment
  near the ocean and
 those which live upstream in waters of very low salinity. Currently,
  I have been evaluating a possible scenario for how life began. My work is on the
  synthesis of compounds
 that could mimic the surrounding membrane of protolife's
  organisms. This research couples
 concepts of the protection provided by the lipid bilayer
  found in cells of all organisms with the
 potential to metabolize and evolve due to the
  attachment of the more reactive peptides.
  This research has demonstrated that it is
  readily possible to form such compounds under
 presumed prebiotic conditions.
 

 


 
Beda Alvarez  Beda E. Alvarez, Jr., M.D.
  Instructor of Biology
  Office 843-208-8324
  Visit Dr. Alvarez's Website
  balvarez@uscb.edu
 
   M.D. from Cebu Doctors' College of Medicine, Philippines
   B.S. in Natural Sciences from Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH)
 

 

  As a medical student in 2002 I was in an isolated rural mountain region of the
  Philippines, and I found myself suddenly out of range of a highly populated area.
  But yet, people there were able to make a meager living with no running water,
  electricity, or any other modern conveniences. As part of the medical school curriculum
  at Cebu Doctors' College of Medicine, I was required to set up a class and educate
  the town's people about good health. Treating and educating this rural community
  as well as dealing with the shortage of proper medical supplies could be seen by an
  outsider as challenging; however out there, this was the norm. I learned from this
  experience that communication and patience is the key in treating and preventing
  disease. In other words, I did not use complicated medical terminology when I spoke
  to the town's people, but instead I kept my communication very simple so they could
  easily identify the concepts I was trying to convey. I found that simple instructions were
  more likely to be followed and thus patients were much more likely to be compliant
  with their treatment and get well. In teaching at the University of South Carolina Beaufort
  (USCB) I use a similar method in which I use the medical terminology but I convey the
  information in an easily understood manner and I have received excellent student
  feedback. For the 2013-2014 academic year, I received the Adjunct Professor of the Year
  Award from USCB.
  My research interests are in neglected tropical diseases and I currently work with
  Dr. Edward D'Antonio in his research on medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, and X-ray
  crystallography of enzyme drug-targets in Chaga's disease and malaria. I am also a
  member of the American Medical Association (AMA).

 

 
 
Biology  Boriginni  Stephen A. Borgianini, Ph.D.
  Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  Office 843-208-8110
  Visit Dr. Borgianini's Website 
  borgians@uscb.edu 

  Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of South Carolina
  M.S. in Biology from Rutgers University
  B.S. in Marine Science from Richard Stockton College
 
  My research interests involve the relationship between adult distribution and larval
  dispersal and its impacts on population structure, population dynamics and range
  expansion.  I am interested in the evolutionary mechanisms that continue to
  sustain current biogeographic and ecological patterns as well as the processes
  that may eventually lead to the formation of new species. I am especially
  interested in the physical, physiological and developmental constraints that limit
  the distribution of organisms within estuaries.  Many estuarine organisms have
  ranges that extend well into tidally-influenced streams and rivers where salinity
  is between 10−0 ‰, however the biological and physical dynamics of these
  systems are not well understood. The zone where marine and freshwater organisms
  overlap is of great biological interest because exchanges of energy between marine
  and freshwater ecosystems occur there. This zone is dynamic and can shift in
  extent and location over hourly, weekly and interannual time scales. Seasonal
  changes in tidal amplitude due to thermal expansion and astronomical eccentricities
  can confound the dynamics of this overlap zone as well.  I am also interested in
  determining if local adaptation to an ecological character, such as competitive
  superiority or physiological tolerance, along an environmental gradient is powerful
  enough to generate divergence in the face of ongoing gene flow.
 
 

 


Edward Dantonio  Edward L. D'Antonio, Ph.D.
  Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Structural Biology
  Office 843-208-8101
  Visit Dr. D'Antonio's Website
  edantonio@uscb.edu
 
  Ph.D. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University
  B.S. in Chemistry from Millersville University
 
 

  My research interests are centered on medicinal chemistry and
  X-ray crystallography of enzyme drug-targets implicated in neglected tropical
  diseases of the trypanosome. Such diseases of concern are Chagas' disease
  and Human African Trypanosomiasis that are caused by parasitic protozoa
  Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei, respectively. In particular, my
  research focuses on targets of the pentose phosphate pathway in the
  oxidative branch. Structure-based drug design is being used as the methodology
  for designing potent and selective inhibitors while synthetic organic chemistry
  is being used to create inhibitor compounds as well as their analogues.  My
  main goal is to design new alternatives to the currently used anti-trypanosomal
  therapeutics in the clinic because these drugs require substantial improvements
  in their tolerability, safety, and efficacy.
 

 


 
Jennifer Dantonio  Jennifer D'Antonio, Ph.D.
  Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  Office 843-208-8165
  Visit Dr. D'Antonio's Website
  jdantonio@uscb.edu 

  Ph.D. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University
  B.S. in Chemistry from University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
 
 

 

 

 

 

 Ian_Gibson Ian B. Gibson, M.S.
  Instructor, Laboratory Manager, and Health & Safety Officer
 
  M.S. in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine
  B.A. in Philosophy from University of Hull, England

 

 

 

 

 
 
biology Guismarolli  Sp  Giuliana Gusmaroli, Ph.D.  
  Associate Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology
  Office 843-208-8266
  Visit Dr. Gusmaroli's Website
  gusmaroli@uscb.edu 

  Ph.D. in Genetics from Universita' degli Studi di Milano, Italy
  M.S. in Biological Sciences from Universita' degli Studi di Milano
  B.S. in Biological Sciences from Universita' degli Studi di Milano
 

  My research interests are focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating plant
  and animal development in response to internal cues and changing environmental
  conditions. In the past 20 years I have been studying the molecular genetics of
  transcriptional regulation and regulated protein degradation, which represent two
  key processes in gene expression, using the plant model organism Arabidopsis
  thaliana. In fact, due to their sessile and plastic nature, plants offer unique opportunities
  to study, both at whole genome scale as well as single gene level, the molecular
  machineries responsible for survival, growth and adaptation. I have been first involved
  with the identification and characterization of several members of large gene
  transcription factor families and later with the genetic and biochemical study of
  different components of the Ubiquitin-Proteasome system, including the COP9
  signalosome, which is an intriguing and evolutionary conserved nuclear machine
  involved in the control of multiple developmental and environmental regulated
  signaling processes in both animal and plants.  More recently, I have broadened
  my research to the study of the genetic factors limiting species distribution within
  estuaries. Considering that the transition from oceans to freshwater constitutes a
  severe ionic barrier that only a few species have been able to penetrate, I am using
  a novel molecular approach for measuring osmoregulatory stress through the
  identification and study of the differential expression of osmoregulatory genes in
  the red-jointed fiddler crab (Uca minax) and the Caribbean spiny lobster
  (Panulirus argus), which exhibit opposite tolerance to salinity fluctuation.  In summary,
  the ultimate goal of my research is to contribute to our understanding of the natural
  world and the molecular aspects of the cellular machines that organisms use to
  respond and adapt to their environment. Expanding our knowledge of the environmental
  regulation of gene expression and cell signaling can help up in predicting species
  adaptability to modern challenges like global warming, pollution, habitat loss and
  human interference with natural ecosystems.
 

 

 


Charlie Keith  Charles H. Keith, Ph.D.
  Professor of Biology
  Office 843-208-8108
  Visit Dr. Keith's Website
  keithch@uscb.edu

  Ph.D. in Biophysics and Theoretical Biology from University of Chicago
  B.A. in Biochemistry from Princeton University
 

  My research has centered on visualizing subcellular structures both in living,
  functioning cells, largely using the technique of fluorescent analog cytochemistry,
  and in fixed cells, using high resolution light and electron microscopy. I am
  particularly interested in structures that are responsible for intracellular motility.
  More recently, I have been collaborating with a developmental neurobiologist and
  a mathematician at the University of Georgia to measure neural activity, at the
  level of the individual neuron, in the brain of living zebrafish larvae and adults, using
  advanced statistical analysis of the weak signals released by genetically encoded
  fluorescent indicators of neural activity. The ultimate goal of this project is to analyze
  the activity leading to organismal behavior at the single cell level.
 

 


 
biology  montie  Eric W. Montie, M.S., Ph.D.
  Assistant Professor of Biology
  Office 843-208-8107
  Visit Dr. Montie's Website  
  emontie@uscb.edu

  Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from MIT/WHOI
  M.S. in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University
  B.S. in Zoology from University of Rhode Island 

  My research interests lie at the intersection of neurobiology, marine biology, and
  environmental science.  First and foremost, our research lab strives to understand
  the sensory and neurobiology of marine organisms – from snapping shrimp to fish
  to marine mammals.  Specifically, we are interested in brain architecture, hearing
  of fish and marine mammals, and acoustic communication of aquatic vertebrates.
  The more applied part of our research program focuses on studies that investigate
  how natural and man-made stressors impact the brain, hearing, and acoustic
  communication.  These stressors include man-made chemicals, harmful algal
  blooms, noise pollution, and climate change.  We use techniques such as magnetic
  resonance imaging, auditory evoked potentials, and passive acoustics using long-term
  monitoring devices.  This research has involved work on biomedical models such as
  zebrafish, goldfish, and rats, as well as wild marine organisms like spotted sea trout,
  red drum, flounder, California sea lions, harp seals, hooded seals, grey seals, Atlantic
  white-sided dolphins, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, pygmy killer whales, and
  right whales.  Our ultimate goal is to combine laboratory experiments with model
  organisms and field studies with wild animals in order to improve our knowledge of the
  natural world and its reaction to environmental factors.  Check out our website to learn
  more about our current projects and teaching program.

 
 

 


Joe Staton  Joseph L. Staton, Ph.D. 
  Associate Professor of Biology/Marine Science
  Office 843-208-8105
  Visit Dr. Staton's Website  
  jstaton@uscb.edu

  Ph.D in Environmental Physiology and Evolutionary
  Biology from University of Louisiana, Lafayette


  For more than 20 years, my research has focused on the ecology
  and evolution of marine invertebrates, specifically in understanding how larval
  development and dispersal impact these populations over time.  I developed
  the PCR assay that allows for rapid identification of fiddler crab larvae to the
  level of individual species, a feat that cannot be achieved by visual inspection.
  I have published papers on the ecology of fiddler crab larval dispersal, genetics
  of crustacean biogeography in the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern Atlantic,
  mitochondrial gene orders to address molecular evolutionary questions on
  horseshoe crabs and sipunculan worms, cryptic speciation in benthic copepods,
  and the effects on genetic diversity of benthic meiofauna by pollutants.

 

 


 Debra Wallace Debra J. Wallace, Ph.D.
  Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
  Office 202-358-0917
  Visit Dr. Wallace's Website
  debra.j.wallace@nasa.gov

  Ph.D. in Astronomy from Georgia State University
  M.A. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University
  B.B.A. in International Business from University of Georgia

  My background is as varied as my current research interests. Transitioning to
  science from business, I spent 7 years at the Space Telescope Science
  Institute helping to use and to do research with the Hubble Space Telescope.
  After completing a Ph.D. centered on massive star observations at very high
  resolution with the Hubble, I spent 3 years at Goddard Space Flight Center
  on a NASA Fellowship expanding upon this research and supplementing the
  Hubble data with a variety of ground-based telescopes to provide better
  spectroscopic coverage and even higher resolution. Higher resolution means
  greater details in the observation and a better capacity to zoom in and discover
  the stellar environment. Ultimately, the goal is to understand massive stars,
  the circumstances of their formation, and their evolution. This is important
  because massive stars drive the evolution of the Universe. They are responsible
  for much of the carbon in our bodies, the metals in our jewelry, and spur the
  formation of stars like our Sun.  I am currently on loan from USCB to NASA
  Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where I serve in the Astrophysics Division
  as the Deputy Program Officer for the Hubble Telescope, the Program
  Scientist for the Named Fellow Postdoctoral Programs, and the Program
  Executive for the Astrophysical Archives amongst other duties. In my spare time,
  I continue my research in astrophysics, am a Co-Investigator in an agricultural
  research project to develop organic pecan production methods, sit on the Board
  of Directors of a trucking company, and chase around after my two-year old son.


 
 
 

Adjunct Faculty and Staff

 
Dr. Lindsay Senalik
Adjunct Faculty Member