(May 31, 2022) --

2022 DISL REU (Back Row) Evan Marth, Kenneth Murage, Rebecca Carwithen, Claire Legaspi, D. Julian Hodges, Yasmine Hall, Elizabeth Jata, and Anika Cho. (Front Row) Jesse Gwin (TA and Program Coordinator), Dr. Ruth H. Carmichael (PI and REU Director), and Alexes Cleveland.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Research Experiences for Undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation welcomed nine students to campus on May 31, 2022. These students will work with a DISL faculty mentor during the 10-week summer program while carrying out a semi-independent research project on a variety of topics in marine science. Check out their brief biographies below, and then follow their work on our social media pages including Dauphin Island Sea Lab Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Rebecca Carwithen is from Clovis, California. Rebecca attends Monterey Peninsula College but plans to attend UC Santa Cruz in the Fall to study Earth Science with a concentration in Oceanography. Rebecca applied to the DISL-REU program to learn more about oceanographic processes and conduct research in a professional setting. Hailing from Northern CA, Rebecca is excited to explore the Gulf of Mexico and learn more about the similarities and differences between coastal regions of California and Dauphin Island, Alabama. At DISL, Rebecca will be working with Dr. Brian Dzwonkowski to study hurricane and coastal interactions in the Mississippi Bight.

Anika Cho is from Beaverton, Oregon, and attends the University of Alabama majoring in Electrical Engineering and Physics, with a minor in Marine Science. Anika applied to the DISL-REU program for the opportunity to learn more about DIY research instrumentation and explore ways of integrating both marine science and engineering into a future career. At DISL, Anika will be working with Dr. Kelly Dorgan to develop instrumentation for measuring the physical properties of sediments on the scales of burrowing animals to better understand how animals living in sediments interact with their physical environment.

Alexes Cleveland is from Birmingham, Alabama, and attends Alabama State University, majoring in Marine Biology. Alexes applied to the DISL-REU program to use a passion and love for the ocean to explore and discover new things! At DISL, Alexes will be working with Dr. Andrea Tarnecki in the Auburn University Shellfish Lab, which focuses on the ecology and production of shellfish, including the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica).

Yasmine Hall is from Dothan, Alabama, and studies Microbiology with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. Yasmine is excited to be a part of the DISL-REU program this summer to gain research experience and learn more about opportunities in Marine Science. At DISL, Yasmine will be working with Drs. Jennifer Bloodgood and Brandi Kiel Reese to compare the skin microbiome of bottlenose dolphins at multiple body sites using next-generation DNA sequencing techniques.

D. Julian Hodges is from Chicago, Illinois, and attends Barry University majoring in Marine Biology. Julian applied to the DISL-REU program to gain knowledge of how research in the marine science field is conducted and to better prepare for graduate school. At DISL, Julian will be working with Dr. Lee Smee on oyster restoration and aquaculture.

Elizabeth Jata is from Destin, Florida, and attends the University of West Florida studying Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry. After serving in the US Navy and discovering a connection to the ocean and marine life, Ellie applied to the DISL-REU program for the chance to work with like-minded people who respect the ocean and want to help preserve and protect it for generations to come. At DISL, Ellie will be working with Dr. Jeff Krause and Ph.D. student Ryan Roseburrough to examine the role of microbes on element recycling in aquatic sediments.

Claire Legaspi is from Austin, Texas, and attends Austin Community College and Texas A&M University, majoring in Ecology and Conservation Biology. Claire applied to the DISL-REU program as an opportunity to study aquatic science and fisheries. At DISL, Claire will work with Dr. Ron Baker to compare the diets and conditions of common fish species from adjacent habitats to better understand the functional values of interconnected seascapes.

Evan Marth is from Appleton, Wisconsin and now lives in Decatur, Alabama. Evan attends Athens State University majoring in Biology with a minor in Mathematics. Evan applied to the DISL-REU program to gain knowledge and experience participating in research on a larger scale. At DISL, Evan will be working with Dr. Carl Cloyed to compare stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values from fish, plankton, and sediments around Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay.

Kenneth Murage is from Birmingham, Alabama, and majors in Biology at Talladega College. Kenneth enjoys studying ecology and learning how things work and interact together and applied to the DISL-REU program for the chance to live and learn on the coast and be exposed to new ideas and research. At DISL, Kenneth will be working in the Robertson Lab with Dr. Molly Miller examining the bioactivity of secondary metabolites produced by benthic dinoflagellates associated with ciguatera poisoning.