Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. Eric Rosch


Ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata) can be found on sandy beaches bordering the western Atlantic Ocean. These semiterrestrial crustaceans are often found between the swash zone and the dunes on beaches. Dunes are critical refuges for ghost crabs during storms and extreme tide events. This makes them a useful indicator species for monitoring the effects of global warming-induced sea level rise on beach biota, as their distribution patterns among beach zones may correlate with shifts found in other species. Beach surveys conducted from 2015 onward assessed the population density of ghost crabs on beaches of Horry and Georgetown counties in South Carolina. The surveys suggest that ghost crabs do indeed show a duneward shift in response to storms and that changes in sea level may lead to a more permanent change in their distribution.