About the Lab

The Grice Marine Laboratory is a core facility in support of the undergraduate and the graduate teaching programs in the marine sciences at the College of Charleston, and in support of research in marine sciences conducted by faculty members and students. 

Learn more about Grice Marine Lab

Here's everything you need to know about Grice Marine Lab.
  • History

    The George D. Grice Marine Laboratory, named in honor of the 14th president of the College, is located at Fort Johnson, on James Island, across Charleston Harbor from downtown Charleston. The facility houses classrooms, student laboratories, research laboratories, faculty offices, an aquarium room, and a research collection of marine invertebrates and fishes. It has combined its extensive marine science library holdings with the holdings of the Marine Resources Research Institute of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to form the Cooperative Marine Research Library at Fort Johnson.

    The Fort Johnson property has historic associations dating back more than 200 years. Among the remains of fortifications dating from the Revolutionary War are a brick powder magazine and, from a later period, the foundations of a Martello tower. The opening rounds of the bombardment on Fort Sumter that began the Civil War were fired from these fortifications.

    Grice Department DiagramSince 1955, the Grice Marine Laboratory (originally “The Fort Johnson Marine Biological Laboratory” and later the “Grice Marine Biological Laboratory”) has served as the core facility in support of the undergraduate and the graduate programs in marine biology of the College of Charleston. As such, it provides essential academic programs, courses and associated laboratories, advising, and research training and participation for about 400 undergraduate majors and 55 graduate students. These programs lead to the Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and to the Master of Science degree in Marine Biology, respectively. The laboratory provides office and research laboratory facilities and clerical, administrative, and technical support for 15 Department of Biology faculty integrally involved in the conduct and the administration of these programs. Laboratory and other facilities are provided by GML to graduate and undergraduate students involved in marine research. The undergraduate major in Marine Biology is supported through courses taught at GML, through an undergraduate summer research program, and through undergraduate research projects. Graduate students in the Marine Biology Graduate Program provide essential academic support to the Department of Biology through instruction in more than 50 sections of core freshman-level laboratory courses per annum. The Marine Biology Graduate Program, centered at the laboratory, is cooperative, and involves in excess of 90 faculty members from more than 15 departments at regional academic and research institutions. GML faculty work collaboratively with scientists at these institutions as well as with colleagues nationally and internationally. GML is an integral and equal player at the South Carolina Marine Resources Center at Fort Johnson, where it works cooperatively with the NOAA⁄NOS Laboratory, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Marine Resources Research Institute of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the Medical University of South Carolina's Graduate Program in Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences.

    GML also supports the Environmental Studies Graduate Program and other programs in the marine sciences at the College of Charleston through two primary means: (1) provision of training to students through marine biology courses, graduate and undergraduate, at GML; and (2) interpersonal interactions between individual members of the GML faculty and other faculty and scholars at the College of Charleston and elsewhere in South Carolina.

    In the Fall of 1997, the name of the laboratory was changed to the Grice Marine Laboratory to reflect a broadening of its mission at the College of Charleston. The mission was increased to include all aspects of the marine sciences.

  • GML Newsletter

    GML Logbook is a newsletter of the Grice Marine Laboratory and the Graduate Program in Marine Biology, College of Charleston.

    The Summer 2023 edition includes:

    • the program's "Golden Anniversary" (congratulations to 50 years!).
    • partnership with Charleston Waterkeeper. 
    • Marine Biology Graduate Student Association. 
    • GML's new boat. 
    • sustainability grant to create a new community garden. 
    • DNR open house. 
    • faculty research notes. 
    • alumni updates. 
    • recent degree awards and student awards. 
    • director's log. 

    To read the full newsletter, you can download the PDF. 

    2023 GML Newsletter (PDF)
  • GML Partner Institutions

    The Grice Marine Laboratory has for decades valued its institutional partners at Fort Johnson. These partners have played an important role in the teaching and the research programs at the College of Charleston.

    Today, the Medical University of South Carolina through its Biomarine Environmental and Coastal Health (Beach) graduate program, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have strong ties with the Grice Marine Laboratory as important state institutions. In addition, two federal partners, the Center for Coastal and Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), a part of the National Ocean Service of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), offer students and faculty valuable teaching and research resources.

    The Hollings Marine Laboratory is a focal point of the partnership at Fort Johnson where the five partners share space, expertise, and other resources

  • In-house Faculty and Staff

    The following faculty and staff have offices at Grice Marine Lab: 

  • Directions

    From Downtown Charleston

    • Take Calhoun Street to the James Island Connector (Route 30).
    • From the connector, take the Harborview Road exit. From the exit ramp, proceed right onto Harborview Road.
    • Take Harborview road until it ends at a roundabout (about 5 miles). 
    • Merge onto the roundabout, passing the first exit, then the cemetery entrance, then exit off onto Fort Johnson road.
    • Follow Fort Johnson road to its end at the gate to the South Carolina Marine Resources Center at Fort Johnson.
    • Drive through the gate and follow the road staying to the right at the fork. 
    • The Grice Marine Laboratory is near the end of this road on the right. Park in the gravel parking lot on the right just before you reach the building. 
    • The lab is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.