Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
Research About US Education Faculty Publications R/V Savannah
Richard Lee

Dr. Richard F. Lee
Professor Emeritus
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
10 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, Georgia 31411
Telephone: (912) 598-2494 or 2487
Fax: (912) 598-2310

B.A. Chemistry, California State University at San Diego 1964
M.A. Chemistry, California State University at San Diego 1966
Ph.D. Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego 1970

Local Pages:

 Research Interests and Projects 
Current Projects:
  • DNA Damage and Embryo Developments in Grass Shrimp Exposed to Contaminants
    We use a rapid and sensitive assay for DNA damage, the Comet assay, to assess the presence of genotoxic agents at several contaminated estuarine sites. The presence of these genotoxic agents, e.g., mercury, toxaphene, and chromium at these sites are linked to both DNA damage and embryo development effects. Laboratory studies, where suspect contaminants are added to food, water, or sediment, are used to verify field results. The presence of genotoxic agents in sediment are determined by adding female grass shrimp to contaminated sediments, allowing reproduction to occur, followed by DNA strand damage assays and embryo development bioassays of the embryos produced by the females.
  • Prevalence and Intensity of a Blue Crab Disease in Coastal Georgia
    The blue crab, Callinectes sapidus , supports an important fishery along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S.  This fishery has suffered a significant decline in recent years with Georgia blue crab catches decreasing from 9.3 million pounds in 1995 to 1.8 million pounds in 2002.  The cause of this sudden and dramatic crash is the subject of intense investigation.  The decrease  in crab population has been coincident with an increase in the prevalence and intensity of a disease in blue crabs caused by a parasitic infection of a dinoflagellate, Hematodinium sp.  A focus of our work has been on development and use of molecular gene based diagnostic test for Hematodinium sp. that is very sensitive and can be used to detect Hematodinium sp. in the water as well as in crab hosts.  A combination of field and laboratory studies are being used to study the transmission and life history of  Hematodinium sp .  
    View a photomicrograph of muscle sections of a Hematodinium infected blue crab (photo taken by A. Walker at Mercer University Medical School)
  • Mariculture of Black Sea Bass for the Sushi Market
    Our group has been developing a greenhouse based recirculating system to grow larval sea bass to 2 pound adults in one year. Instead of pellets, the black sea bass are fed live tilapia juveniles. Tilapia are reared in separate heated tanks with reproduction taking place every two weeks so there is a constant supply of tilapia fry and juveniles for the black sea bass.  For further details, please see our mariculture webpage.

  • Coastal Oceanography - Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
  • Ecotoxicology - Georgia Southern University

 Selected Publications 
Lee, R. F., M. Köstner, and G. -A. Paffenhöfer. 2012. Ingestion and defecation of dispersed oil droplets by pelagic tunicates. Journal of Plankton Research 34(12): 1058-1063. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbs065
Alexander, C. R., A. D. Uhler, and R. F. Lee. 2011. Using sediment cores to assess inputs of organochlorines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coastal Georgia estuaries. In Global Contamination Trends of Persistent Organic Chemicals, ed. B. G. Loganathan, and P. K. -S. Lam, 469-479. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Walker, A. N., R. F. Lee, and M. E. Frischer. 2009. Transmission of the parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium sp infection in blue crabs Callinectes sapidus by cannibalism. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 85(3): 193-197.
Lee, R. F., W. Hagen, and G. Kattner. 2008. Lipid storage in marine zooplankton. Marine Ecology Progress Series 307: 273-306.
Troedsson, Christofer, Richard F. Lee, Tina Walters, Vivica Stokes, Karrie Brinkley, Verena Naegele, and Marc E. Frischer. 2008. Detection and discovery of crustacean parasites in blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) by using 18S rRNA gene-targeted denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74(14): 4346-4353.
Brouwer, M., and R. F. Lee. 2007. Response to toxic chemicals at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organismal level. Eds. V. S. Kennedy and L. E. Cronin. In: The Blue Crab Callinectes sapidus. pp. 485-512. (Maryland Sea Grant, College Park, Maryland)
Kattner, G., W. Hagen, R. F. Lee, R. Campbell, D. Diebel, S. Falk-Petersen, M. Graeve, B. W. Hansen, H. J. Hirche, S. H. Jónasdóttir, M. L. Madsen, P. Mayzaud, D. Müller-Navarra, P. D. Nichols, G.-A. Paffenhöfer, D. Pond, H. Saito, D. Stübing, and P. Virtue. 2007. Perspectives on marine zooplankton lipids. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 64: 1628-1639.
Frischer, M. E., R. F. Lee, M. A. Sheppard, A. Mauer, F. Rambow, M. Neumann, J. E. Brofft, T. Wizenmann, J. M. Danforth. 2006. Evidence for a free-living life stage of the blue crab parasitic dinoflagelate, Hematodinium sp. Harmful Algae 5(5): 548-557.
Lee, R.F. and K.A. Maruya. 2006. Chemical contaminants entering estuaries in the South Atlantic Bight as a result of current and past land use. In Changing Land Use Patterns in the Coastal Zone, ed. G.S. Keppel, M. R. DeVoe and M.V. Rawson,205-227.New York: Springer.  
Troedsson,C., R.F. Lee, V. Stokes, T.L. Walters, P. Simonelli, and M.E. Frischer. 2006. Development of a denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography method for detection of protest parasites of metazoans. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74: 4336-4345.  

Full Publication List

Text Only Version

• Skidaway Institute of Oceanography • 10 Ocean Science Circle • Savannah, GA 31411 • USA • (912) 598-2400 •
Copyright © 2016 Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. All rights reserved.