"I applied to the University Scholars program with the goal of seeing a project through from start to finish with the end goal of writing a thesis. I hope to gain more insight into the process of research and publication in preparation for graduate school."
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Florida Bright Futures
- EDEN Undergraduate Internship Awardee (2011)
- ABLS Outstanding Student Presentation Award (2011)
- American Bryological and Lichenological Society
- Brazilian Culture and Arts Exchange
Hobbies and Interests
- Cooking, reading, dancing, capoeira, and watching movies.
Sex Ratio Variation in the Moss Ceratodon Purpureus
Biased sex ratios are common in many organisms, although the mechanisms that drive deviations from equal numbers of males and female are often unknown. Theory suggests that selection should favor a 1:1 population sex ratio, although in cases of extreme inbreeding a female bias may be advantageous. In surveys of natural populations many mosses exhibit a female biased sex ratio. Estimates of sex ratio from field or herbarium specimens, however, may be biased by differential sex expression between males and females, elevated male gametophyte mortality, or sex-specific spore death after meiosis. Importantly, events during meiosis would distort the spore sex ratio before germination, whereas elevated male mortality and differential sex expression distort the ratio after germination. The goal of this research is to use PCR tests to determine sex ratio immediately following germination in the moss Ceratodon purpureus. Spore number, germination rates, and sex ratio will be calculated from a sample of sporophytes from several North American populations. We will then look for associations between these factors in order to better understand why sex ratio distortion occurs in this species.