As an undergraduate at Clark I have majored in Environmental Science (Environmental and Conservation Biology) and have developed a real interest in marine organisms. I have found that the areas of evolution, morphology and behavior are the most interesting in my studies and my current research at Clark reflects this. My research project, developed during my second year at Clark, relates to the differences in behavior of different stickleback ecotypes and the possible consequential differences in morphology. I won’t say much more than that it explores the relationship between armoring and mating rituals, for it would spoil the surprise and might deter readers from the paper that I hope to publish with my co-workers soon. This research has been made possible by the abundance of resources, both in terms of specimens and faculty guidance that the stickleback lab has made available to me. Without them I would have never been able to complete such sophisticated work in my three short years as an undergraduate.
Clark University has also afforded me, during this time, the opportunity to travel abroad and continue to conduct research while off campus. During a recent semester in Costa Rica I was able to not only learn about the ecology of a tropic and highly diverse part of our world, but also about different management plans and practices. My studies there included a field research project relating to migratory bird species and their declining abundance in the protected zones of Costa Rica.
Outside the lab:
I have been involved in a number of activities at Clark, though the most important to my life has been the Clark Crew team. Having always been involved in a number of physical activities, from soccer to wrestling, I looked to continue this while in college and found my real interest to once again be in the water. Though 5am has never been an hour I like to see, nothing beats the feeling of being on the water and watching the sun rise. As I mentioned earlier, Clark has also allowed me the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica where I was able to experience a different culture, try new things and meet lifelong friends.
Looking towards the future, I will be graduating this May and shortly thereafter moving to Hawaii with my husband, Sean Sullivan. I hope to be able to become involved in a lab on the island, working in marine biology and putting the skills I have learned as an undergraduate to use.