UMBS/Frontiers master’s student symposium
Thursday, September 01, 2011
They spent the summer researching at the U-M Biological Station and then on the evening of August 17, 2011, the incoming Frontiers master’s student cohort presented their results.
"It was a fantastic symposium,” said Professor Mark Hunter, director of the Frontiers Program. “Our Frontiers students spoke on a diversity of topics in evolution and ecology to a broad audience of UMBS faculty, staff and students. It was fascinating to hear the results of a busy summer of research."
The new Frontiers students are: Marcella Baiz (Grand Valley State University), Alexandria Moore (University of Michigan), Beatriz Otero-Jimenez (University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras), and Lillian Smith (Oakwood University).
Baiz, whose research interests are behavioral ecology, phylogenetics, and biogeography, studied optimal foraging behavior in antlions. She tested models designed to describe how antlions should handle variation in diet quality.
Moore, who is interested in conservation ecology and biodiversity, demonstrated that insect herbivores can impose fitness costs on their hosts. Specifically, milkweed insects can cause reductions in fruit set in milkweed plants.
Otero Jimenez’s research interests include ecosystem ecology, biodiversity and agriculture and she managed to establish a link between plant and animal succession. Changes in vegetation at UMBS are driving change in insect communities.
Smith, whose research interests are plant ecology, tropical ecology and biodiversity, spent the summer trying to establish if pitcher plants change color to balance their needs for carbon and nitrogen.
Pictured left to right: Lillian Smith, Beatriz Otero Jimenez, Alex Moore, Marcella Baiz.
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