skip to main content

Dr. Gary Gaston

01 (1)
Department of Biology
The University of Mississippi


Office: 304 Shoemaker Hall
Phone: (662) 915-7162
FAX: (662) 915-5144

Gaston Taking Picture of a Ecuador BirdResearch Interests:

  • Benthic invertebrate ecology
  • Trophic ecology of benthic communities
  • Coral reef ecology

Back to top of page


Bisc 320: Marine Biology
Bisc 338: Invertebrate Zoology
Bisc 445: Coral Reef Ecology
Bisc 102: Inquiry into Life: Human Biology (Honors)
Bisc 104: Inquiry into Life: The Environment (Honors)
Back to top of page


Ph.D. College of William and Mary (1983)
M.S. University of Alabama (1976)
B.S. University of Alabama (1972)
Back to top of page

Selected Publications:

Dent, W.A. and G.R. Gaston.  2013.  Time-activity budgets of Stoplight Parrotfish (Scaridae: Sparisoma viride) in Belize: cleaning invitation and diurnal patterns. Gulf and Caribbean Research 25:131-135.

Gaston, G.R., C. Eason, G. Eason, J. Janaski, and M.A. Ballas. 2009. Seagrass loss in Belize: Studies of turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum) habitat using remote sensing and ground-truth data. Gulf and Caribbean Research 21: 1-8.

Ballas, A. and G.R. Gaston. 2006. Use of remote sensing to analyze Thalassia testudinum communities in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Belize, Central America. Belize National Marine Science Symposium. January 18-20, 2006. Belize City, Belize, Central America.

Gaston, G.R. and M. Slattery. 2005. Ecological function of chemical deterrents in a tropical polychaete, Eupolymnia crassicornis (Annelida, Terebellidae). Animal Behavior Abstracts (CSA).

Meyer, J., R. S. Carr, and G.R. Gaston. 2003. Calcasieu Estuary remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS): Baseline ecological risk assessment (BERA). EPA Publication. Region 6, Dallas, TX. Document number 3282-941-RTZ-RISKZ-14858.

Wally, R. and G.R. Gaston. 2004. Habitat fragmentation of seagrass beds in Belize, Central America. Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 49(1): 92

Gaston, G.R. and M. Slattery. 2002. Ecological function of chemical deterrents in a tropical polychaete, Eupolymnia crassicornis (Annelida, Terebellidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 70(3):891-897.

Gaston, G.R. and J. Hall. 2000. Lunar periodicity and bioluminescence of swarming Odontosyllis luminosa (Polychaeta: Syllidae) in Belize. Gulf and Caribbean Research 12:47-51.

Rakocinski, C.F., S.S. Brown, G.R. Gaston, R.W. Heard, W.W. Walker, and J.K. Summers. 2000. Species-abundance-biomass responses to sediment chemical contamination. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery 7: 201-214.

Brown, S.S., G.R. Gaston, C.F. Rakocinski, R.W. Heard, and J.K. Summers.2000. Effects of sediment contaminants and environmental gradients on macrobenthic community trophic structure in Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Estuaries23:411-424.

Gaston, G.R. 1999. Behavioral ecology of a bioluminescent Caribbean polychaete.Gulf Research Reports 10:73.

Gaston, G.R. 1999. Bayous of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Distribution and Trophic Ecology of Invertebrates. Pp. 919-947, CH 37 in D. Baltzer, R.B. Rader, and S.A. Wissinger (eds.), Invertebrates in Freshwater Wetlands of North America: Ecology and Management. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Gaston, G.R., C. Rakocinski, S.S. Brown, and C.M. Cleveland. 1998. Trophic structure in estuaries: response of macrobenthos to natural and contaminant gradients. Marine and Freshwater Research 49(8):833-846.

Gaston, G.R., B.A. Vittor, and B. Barrett. 1998. Benthic communities of Louisiana coastal waters. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries BulletinNumber 45. 183 pp.

Rakocinski, C.F., S.S. Brown, G.R. Gaston, R.W. Heard, W.W. Walker, and J.K. Summers. 1997. Macrobenthic responses to natural and contaminant-related gradients in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Ecological Applications 7(4):1278-1298.

Flemer, D.A., J. Patrick, J.A. Clark, B.F. Ruth, and C.M. Bundrick, and G.R. Gaston. 1997. Macrobenthic community colonization and community development in dredged material disposal habitats off coastal Louisiana. Environmental Pollution96:141-154.

Gaston, G.R., C.M. Cleveland, S.S. Brown, and C.F. Rakocinski. 1997. Benthic-pelagic coupling in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries: Do benthos feed directly on phytoplankton? Gulf Research Reports 9(4):231-237.

Gaston, G.R., J.H.W.Bartlett, A.P. McAllister, R.W. Heard. 1996. Biomass variations of estuarine macrobenthos preserved in ethanol and formalin. Estuaries19(3):674-679.

Gaston, G.R. and J.A. McLelland. 1996. Aricidea (Allia) bryani, a new species of polychaete (Polychaeta: Paraonidae) from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Research Reports 9(3):189-196.

Gaston, G.R., S.S. Brown, C. Rakocinski, R.W. Heard, and J.K. Summers.1995. Trophic structure of macrobenthos in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Gulf Research Reports 9(2):111-116.

McLelland, J.A. and G.R. Gaston. 1994. Two new species of Cirrophorus(Annelida, Polychaeta, Paraonidae) from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 107:524-531.

Gaston, G.R. and K.A. Edds. 1994. Long-term study of macrobenthic communities on the continental shelf off Cameron, Louisiana: effects of brine and hypoxia. Gulf Research Reports 9(1):57-64.

Gaston, G.R. and J.C. Nasci. 1994. Behavioral ecology of two teal species overwintering in coastal Louisiana. Gulf Research Reports 9:39-48.

Engle, V., J. K. Summers, and G. R. Gaston. 1994. A benthic index of environmental condition of Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Estuaries 17:372-384.

Gaston, G.R., J.A. McLelland, and R.W. Heard. 1992. Feeding biology, distribution, and ecology of two species of Gulf of Mexico polychaetes: Paraonis fulgens and P. pygoenigmatica (Paraonidae, Annelida). Gulf Research Reports 8(4): 395-399.

Gaston, G.R. and J.C. Young. 1992. Effects of contaminants on macrobenthic communities in the Calcasieu River, Louisiana. Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 49: 922-928.

Murray, H.E., C. Murphy, and G.R. Gaston. 1992. Presence of hexachlorobenzene in blue crabs of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana. Journal of Environmental Science and Health A27(4): 1095-1101.
Back to top of page

Grants and Contracts

2004 – 2008. Remote Sensing of Habitat Fragmentation: a Seagrass Model. NASA EPSCOR. Tamar Goulet and Gary Gaston, co-PI. Funded for $25,000 (May 2004).

2002 – 2003. Seagrass habitat quality study using remote sensing (sand tilefish effects on seagrass). NASA Space Grant. Gary Gaston, PI. Funded for $2,000 (July 2002).

2001 – 2003. Principal Investigator, Critical Habitat Characterization of Caribbean Coral Reefs. Research Partnership for Drug Discovery. National Undersea Research Program (NOAA). $157,000 of $2M.

2001 – 2002. Habitat loss in Central America. NASA-EPSCOR. Gary Gaston, PI. Funded for $4,000 (April 2002).

2000-2001. NASA Space Grant. Remote sensing project to determine loss of seagrass habitat in Belize. $2000 to UM.

2000-2001. Benthic macroinvertebrate community survey laboratory services. Funding: EPA, Contract No. 68-W5-0022; Subcontract 3280-999-015-AL. $77, 500.
Back to top of page