Each summer, a number of undergraduates from Brown work at labs at the MBL or at Brown-MBL field sites. In the summer of 2013, 10 undergraduates are working in various capacities in MBL labs or field sites.
Jessica Fields and Adam Bouché were awarded the Rosenthal Brown MBL LINK Awards for summer research. Jessica is working with Linda Amaral Zettler at MBL on a project examining the role of microbial community associations with Plastic Marine Debris (PMD) in the coastal environment. She will be testing whether the type of plastic debris impacts the types of microbes that develop at a given location as well as comparing her results with similar experiments in Antarctica and off the coast of Grenada to see if there are differences in the microbial communities that develop on PMD across different aquatic habitats. Adam Bouché is working with Christopher Neill at the Plum Island Long Term Ecological Research site (LTER) examining the effects of suburban watershed modification on nutrient loading in riparian and coastal wetland ecosystems.
Emma Dixon, a 2012 Beckman Scholar has returned for her 2nd year to continue her work with Christopher Neill looking at plant diversity in residential ecosystems in the Boston area on a project entitled ‘The Ecological Homogenization of Urban America’. Beverly Naigles, a 2013 Beckman Scholar, is working with David Mark Welch on the effects of oxidative stress on bdelloid rotifers to investigate the potential positive effects of undergoing a stress event and the relationship of the stress response to bdelloids’ resistance to desiccation.
Lizzie Kripke, a joint Brown/RISD student, was awarded a Maharam STEAM Fellowship (through RISD) to support her continued work in the Roger Hanlon Laboratory. While there, she seeks to integrate methods of neuroscience and painting toward the study of biological mechanisms responsible for dynamic camouflage in cephalopods. She is also working with the Encyclopedia of Life to develop new scientific applications for the artistic animation software, Blender. For more information on her current work click here and on last year’s work go to http://arcadenw.org/article/scientific-artistry.
Lia Tosiello, Katie Surrey-Bergman, Megan Wheeler and Suzi Spitzer are working with Christopher Neill on a coastal sandplains vegetation management project on Naushon Island. They are establishing vegetation sampling plots and analyzing species diversity in grasslands and shrublands in order to examine the effect of differing intensities of cattle grazing and mowing on vegetation patterns over time.
Insil Choi, a RISD student, has joined Nathan Wilson’s Lab for the summer 2013. Insil is developing scientific illustrations and three-dimensional computer models related to morphological terms associated with fungi for the Encyclopedia of Life and Mushroom Observer.
In the summer of 2012, nine Brown undergraduates worked in various capacities in MBL labs or field sites.
Harriet Booth, Mara Freilich and John Ribbans were awarded Rosenthal Brown MBL LINK Awards for summer research. Harriet Booth worked with Linda Deegan at the Plum Island Long Term Ecological Research site (LTER) on how coastal eutrophication from increasing nutrient loads affects salt marsh food webs. Mara Freilich worked under the direction of Linda Amaral Zettler exanining the bloom dynamics of freshwater haptophytes in Lake George, North Dakota in order to understand the relationship between the ecology of haptophytes and the ability to use lipids they produce (alkenones) as a paleothermometer. John Ribbans worked in Rudolf Oldenbourg’s lab.
Norian Caporale-Berkowitz, another 2011 Beckman Scholar, returned to David Mark-Welch’s lab to continue his research on genomic modifications in bdelloid rotifers caused by desiccation and how these animals might eliminate harmful mutations in the absence of sexual reproduction.
Jehane Samaha and Elisabeth Ward received UTRA Fellowships from Brown and Emma Dixon was a returning (2011) Beckman Scholar. Jehane, Elisabeth and Emma were working with Christopher Neill on a project entitled, ‘The Ecological Homogenization of Urban America’. They sampled species diversity, vegetation structure and carbon levels in Boston suburban ecosystems.
Elizabeth Kripke, a joint RISDI/Brown student, joined Roger Hanlon’s lab for the summer. Lizzie developed visual, three-dimensional computer models of cephalopod chromatophore morphology and physiology.