Honors Independent Research Project for AY 2014/2015

Seastar hybridization in the North Atlantic
Student: Callie Bateson,  Faculty sponsor: Dr. Fiona Harper

This year, with new sea star tissue, Callie will return to the original sea star research project. Pending the success of this work, we hope to write a paper together for publication next summer. She is also planning to present this research at the annual meeting of the Benthic Ecology Society in Quebec City, Canada in March 2015. At the same time, Callie is continuing to analyze the results of research she conducted as part of her SEA semester. She and colleagues examined the morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequences of leptocephali larvae in the North Atlantic, with the working hypothesis that there are two distinct populations separated by oceanographic features. In analyzing these data, Callie is learning sophisticated software programs for population genetics and reading dense literature. None of this is for course credit, but rather is motivated by her desire to find the answer and then share her research in the literature. Callie is a great undergraduate researcher and I am grateful to have her in my laboratory.