Quentin Cui

Mentor: Dr. Christine Miller
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
 
"The roles adaptation and evolution play in species survival have always fascinated me. Specifically, I am interested in ways that the environment can influence the fitness and survivorship of species. With a rapidly changing climate, the interaction between environment and organism becomes all the more important and worthy of study."

Major

Environmental Science

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Climate change
  • Evolution, adaptation
  • Energy sustainability

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program 2016
  • A. F. Wentworth Honors Scholarship 2016
  • College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean's List 2014
  • Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholar 2014

Organizations

  • Outdoor Adventure Recreation
  • Golden Key International Honour Society

Volunteer

  • Research volunteer, UF/IFAS Plant Breeding Program
  • Research volunteer, UF Water Institute

Hobbies and Interests

  • Backpacking
  • Basketball
  • Film
  • Earning frequent flyer miles

Research Description

Role of Adaptation and Phenotypic Plasticity Across a Large Spatial Scale
My project examines how variable fruit depth affects the rostrum length of the leaf-footed cactus bug (which feeds on the fruit). This relationship is especially intriguing since it may involve both adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. Based on our lab results, we have discovered that the bug indeed grows a longer rostrum in response to a deeper fruit. I will be traveling to the American Southwest for five weeks in the summer of 2016 to collect field data to support the lab results and to solidify our conclusion. This project may potentially provide evidence of locally and widely distributed adaptation and plasticity, and this could allow other researchers to predict the effect of environmental change on species survival within variable spatial scales.