William Jewell Department of Biology  
Biology major studies in Costa Rica genetics lab  

Elizabeth Everman, a biology major, received a 2011 Hall Family Foundation Summer Academic Enrichment Grant. She participated in a 16-day graduate course in Conservation and Restoration Genetics in Las Cruces, Costa Rica.

“The course was presented by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and Duke University. We spent two weeks at the biological station Las Cruces learning about fragmentation in Costa Rica and its implications of the preservation of biodiversity. Much of what I learned in this course is directly related to measuring the impacts of fragmentation in terms of migration rate, inbreeding depression and effective population size (the number of reproducing individuals in a population) in both plant and animal communities from a genetic standpoint. We learned to use computer programs necessary to run analyses on genetic data and participated in active discussions that addressed both the morals of biodiversity preservation and practical approaches for conducting these studies. Each student was given the opportunity to become a teacher in our current area of study and we established a strong network through our common interests in the study of conservation genetics.

As a result of this course, I was able to focus my goals for future study at the graduate level in conservation genetics and I am more than ready to continue my current research in conservation genetics at Jewell this year.”


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