This summer, we were fortunate to host two students from the VCU Honors College Summer Undergraduate Research Program (HSURP). Shray Amin and Sunauz Moezzi each spent eight weeks in the lab working on independent projects related to our ongoing study of James River water quality. Shray worked primarily with Dr. Joseph Battistelli to study the distribution and diversity of thermotolerant Escherichia coli, while Sunauz worked with graduate student Enjolie Levengood to isolate several strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Enjolie and Sunauz received a Student Research Award from the VCU Rice Rivers Center and will continue working this fall to identify these organisms and assess them for multi-drug resistance. Oh my, these two used a LOT of plates!
Click the picture to the left to read a VCU News story that describes an outreach event we just completed at Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts. We worked with ~30 students ages 5-9, and taught them about climate change and wetlands. We designed this week-long workshop to combine experiential learning about science within an arts-based curriculum. It was so much fun!
Ben has been an undergraduate researcher in our lab since 2015. Click here to read more about his internship this semester, working for a local brewery called "Ardent Craft Ales."
We've very proud of M.S. student Chansotheary Dang for the outstanding presentation that she gave last week at the annual meeting of the Virginia Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Her talk was entitled: The Impact of Saltwater Intrusion on Tidal Freshwater Wetlands' Microbial Communities.
Take a tour of our field site!
This post is long overdue - Congratulations are in order for Chansotheary, David, and Joe, who successfully defended their M.S. thesis proposals this spring! Each of you did a REALLY good job and it should be an exciting summer of field work!
Daniel (Dong) Lee has just joined us to work on the NSF grant. Daniel finished his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland last year, working with Dr. Jeff Cornwell. Daniel will spend most of his time with Olivia down the hall in Dr. Neubaer's lab, and his research will focus on the ecosystem-level responses of tidal freshwater wetlands to saltwater intrusion. We're already putting Daniel's engineering skills to use - building anaerobic chambers and designing a solar-powered cell-phone-controlled irrigation system for our field-scale salinity addition.