Mentor: Dr. Richard Hodel
Florida Museum of Natural History
"I have always been interested in becoming involved in research to learn what exactly research entails. I have experienced that conducting research teaches someone to think proactively and critically, a necessary skill in any field of science. I am glad that I chose to do research in a field outside my major because it has both challenged me and fueled my interest and curiosity in phylogeography."
Relay for Life Committee
- Mobile Outreach Clinic
- Shands - OR
- Sidney Lanier Fitness and Research Program
Hobbies and Interests
Phylogeography of Black and Red Mangroves
The purpose of this research project is to study the phylogeography of coastal plants, specifically mangroves, in Florida. Mangroves are a coastal plant species, which provide shelter and food for many organisms, filter toxins from water and protect coastlines. This research focuses on the black and red mangrove species. I will be using four populations of each species, two from the Gulf Coast and two from the Atlantic Coast of Florida to investigate if each mangrove species exhibits high genetic differentiation between populations located on the two coasts. The two objectives of my research project are to reconstruct the phylogeography of each mangrove species using genetic markers and to further explore the comparison of the genetic signals to the ecological environment, propagule size and longevity. If the data shows genetic differentiation between Gulf and Atlantic Coast mangrove populations, this provides evidence that plant species may follow the same phylogeographical patterns as animal species in Florida.