At Clark, I’m studying Environmental Science, specifically Environmental and Conservation Biology. I hope to pursue a career in wildlife biology, focusing on conservation and protection of species. I have always been fond of the outdoors, and the various elements that compose the natural world. When I was younger, I always imagined myself becoming a veterinarian. As I’ve gotten older, and taken a wider variety of science classes, my interests have shifted more towards environmental science. I started working in the Foster/Baker lab during my junior year, after taking Dr. Foster’s Evolution course. I began focusing on research dealing with life history traits of threespine stickleback, and the degree of effect various elements have on decisions the fish make throughout their lives. This focused on female stickleback of reproductive age, and how their length, weights, and environment affected clutch size and average egg mass. This summer, I was part of a group of students that raised the new Alaskan sticklebacks, from embryos to fry. We preformed feeding performance tests each week in which each fry was observed eating, and the amount of food they ate in an allotted period of time was recorded. This allows us to not only observe growth and development as the fry get older, but also to see any differences both within and among populations. I plan to tie both these research interests together by further studying the fry as they grow, and eventually looking at life history traits of the female fry once they reach reproductive age. This will involve methods similar to what I did previously and will also be expanded upon by comparing clutch size and average egg mass with fry size and overall performance, recorded during their first month or so of life. This will hopefully shed more light on questions about why females produce the clutches that they do, and what factors most influence the offspring that they produce.
Outside the Lab
Outside of school, I enjoy being outdoors, whether it be hiking, going to the beach, or running. I’ve been on the cross country team at Clark since freshman year. I also enjoy watching almost any tv show or movie, and reading nonfiction books.
Richard P. Traina Scholar, 2010-2014