Published: Dec. 7, 2020

Studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has allowed me to explore my interest in microbiology through different classes and participating in research. With the help of Dr. Boswell Wing and graduate student Jennifer Reeve I am investigating how different cyanobacterial strains adapt to salinity. My research focuses on culturing two different strains in media with varying salinities and measuring their growth rate and how their growth rates change over generations. All of the oxygen in the atmosphere originates in cyanobacteria or from chloroplasts in plants that are derived from cyanobacteria. The origin of cyanobacteria and oxygen in the atmosphere has had major evolutionary and geological consequences such as a mass extinction and the evolution of complex multicellular life. The data from these experiments will hopefully help answer questions about the origin of oxygen in the earth’s early atmosphere and cyanobacterial evolution. Through participating in research and writing an honors thesis I am able to use what I have learned in classes to do something bigger.