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The Gustafson Research Lab

The Citadel Plant Ecology Laboratory (CPEL) is the name of Dr. Danny J. Gustafson’s plant molecular ecology. We are fortunate at The Citadel to have many interesting ecological systems within close proximity to our campus: Barrier Islands, Salt Marshes, Back-barrier Islands, Coastal Plains, Longleaf Pine Forests, Mixed Hardwood Forests, Black-water Swamps, Black-water and Brown-water Rivers, Rice Fields, Carolina Bays, etc… Our research laboratory has active projects working on (1) the spatial genetics and population dynamics of the endangered pondberry (Lindera melissifolia); (2) genetic control of plant community assembly rules in cooperation with Drs. Sara Baer and David J. Gibson (Southern Illinois University); (3) baseline genetic structure of the endangered candidate Georgia Aster (Syphyotrichum georgianum); (4) salt marsh trophic cascade research in cooperation with Dr. Brian Silliman (University of Florida). We conduct this research primarily with Citadel undergraduate students, but we have had graduate students from The Citadel and College of Charleston as active CPEL members. We stress the scientific question, we expect the student to take ownership (commitment) of the project, and to present their findings at scientific meetings (Ecological Society of America, Association of Southeastern Biologist, Society of Wetland Scientists, Eastern Native Grass Symposium, Southeastern Estuarine Research Society, and International Wetlands).  In addition to publishing abstracts, students are encouraged to co-author manuscripts. I take great pride in having professional scientists compliment our high quality science and outstanding young researchers.