Join us for the February 2024 installment of the “Science on the Sound” Lecture Series at the Coastal Studies Institute on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. This monthly, in-person lecture series brings perspectives from all over the state and highlights coastal topics in northeastern North Carolina. This month, Dr. James Ferry, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University will present “Life in the Salt Marsh Underground” on February 15, 2024, at 6:00 PM.

During the program, Dr. Ferry will discuss the importance of marshes and the unseen life in the root zone of marsh grass and below, a microcosm teeming with microbes producing marsh gas. Ferry will highlight his research and explain the microbiological principles that also apply to other obscure gas-producing environments such as submerged coastal marine sediments, the hindgut of termites, domestic sewage, the stomachs of cows, and our own intestinal tract.

The program is free to attend and the public is encouraged to attend. The program will also be live-streamed, as well as archived for later viewing, on the CSI YouTube Channel.

Dr. James Ferry

Dr. Ferry obtained a Ph.D. degree in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Illinois in 1974. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Virginia Tech in 1976, where he rose to the rank of Professor. In 1995, Ferry moved to Penn State to accept an endowed chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Currently he is The Stanley R. Person Professor of Molecular Biology Emeritus. His research has focused on the microbiology of submerged marine sediments. Ferry has authored more than 200 scientific publications and is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and past editor of the Journal of Bacteriology. He has served on numerous national and international committees and currently is a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group.

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.



Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T University.  Click on the links below for more information.




ECU's Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU's Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.


The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.