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Amanda is a Marine Biology and General Biology double major. She completed an NSF-REU Research Fellowship project at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies during the summer of 2015 with Dr. Doug Capone. Her project focused on a previously undocumented nitrogen fixation on invasive marine algae, in which she tested variables like light and oxygen to see if they had an effect on the rate of nitrogen fixation. After carrying out her project for 7 weeks, Amanda presented her research at the University of New Haven symposium and was nominated by her REU program for the ASLOMP (Association of Limnology and Oceanography Multicultural Program) Award, which provides funding and travel expenses for students of diverse backgrounds and who have participated in REU programs to attend their annual meeting. 

Amanda will be attending ASLO in New Orleans in February 2016 and will present her research, Nitrogen fixation associated with the invasive macroalgae Sargassum horneri near Catalina Island, CA, at this national conference. The conference will feature presentations from scientists of all levels. 

In addition, Amanda worked in Dr. Amy Carlile’s lab from 2014-2015 and assisted on various projects, some of which included research on macroalgae. These hands-on experiences gave Amanda the foundation to successfully complete her research fellowship project and attempt to further discover the fixations associated with microalgae. Her experience at REU also helped her with her Honors undergraduate thesis, which examines the acclimation of a local algal species to different temperatures by examining photosynthesis and epigenetic changes. 

Amanda reflects that all of her experiences at the University of New Haven thus far have given her excellent research experience on scientific methods and tools for writing proposals, which will ultimately prepare her for a future career in a laboratory and eventually a Ph.D. program in Marine Biology, focusing on genetics.

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