Mentor: Dr. Connie Mulligan
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I applied to the University Scholars Program to help me achieve both my academic and research goals. Through this program, I will continue to work with talented, experienced individuals who can guide me in my research and teach me how to approach scientific questions in innovative ways. My goals this year include publishing a project I have collaborated on in an academic journal, writing a thesis, continuing to explore more areas of science in my courses, and applying to graduate schools."
Anderson Scholar of Highest Distinction (2011)
President's Honor Roll CALS Upper Division Honors Program
Kappa Delta Sorority
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council
Supplemental Instruction Biochemistry Tutoring Program
Through my sorority and the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, I organize events to inspire confidence in young women throughout the county.
Dance Marathon to benefit the patients of Shands Hospital and their families.
Shands Eye Specialties Center.
Hobbies and Interests
- Spending time with my friends and family
Comparison of Y-chromosomal, Mitochondrial, and Autosomal Genetic Diversity in Yemen
In order to gain a complete understanding of human genetic variation, information regarding mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosomal DNA, and autosomal DNA is crucial. Comparisons of these three components of ancestry can be used to determine differences in gene flow related to gender. Our goal is to assess the maternal and paternal components of genetic variation in Yemen through comparative phylogeography. Specifically, we will compare lineage-defining single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Y-chromosomal DNA (NRY), lineage-defining SNPs of maternal DNA (mtDNA) and Alu insertions in autosomal DNA. Because mitochondrial DNA is passed to offspring by women and Y-chromosomal DNA is passed to offspring only by men, the variation found in Yemeni individuals will give us insight into the nature of migration, specifically whether is it matrilineal or patrilineal. In contrast, autosomal DNA gives us a more neutral picture of the current genetic diversity. Approximately 500 DNA samples collected from populations in multiple locations in Yemen are available for genotyping. Fifty randomly chosen male samples will be genotyped for key single nucleotide polymorphisms on the Y-chromosome through the use of specially designed primers, polymerase chain reaction, and gel electrophoresis. The sample set is restricted to males in order to include all three types of DNA. Mitochondrial and autosomal DNA data have already been collected for these samples. To address the migration patterns in Yemen, after genotyping the 50 random samples for Y-chromosome SNPs, I will extract genotype data from literature for the three continental populations (Africa, Europe, and Asia) to which we will compare our Yemen data. Furthermore, I will perform all of the analyses required to compare the Yemeni population with the three continental populations for each of the three markers, (mtDNA, NRY, Alu) as well as compare the patterns of genetic variation observed among the three markers.