ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Three USF College of Marine Science graduate students have been recognized by the National Science Foundation's 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Kara Vadman, a geological oceanography graduate student in Amelia Shevenell's lab, and Jonathan Sharp, a chemical oceanography student in Dr. Bob Byrne's lab, received the prestigious 3-year NSF fellowships and Amanda Sosnowski, a biological oceanographer in Heather Judkins' and Mya Breitbart's labs earned an honorable mention. The highly competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees.
"What is your research topic on, Kara Vadman?"
"My research seeks to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system by unraveling dynamic ice-ocean interactions that take place on the East Antarctic margin. I am conducting a paleoceanographic study of bottom water temperatures proximal to the marine terminating Totten Glacier-Moscow University Ice Shelf System using foraminifera geochemistry from a suite of marine sediment cores. The microfossils provide a record of oceanographic change over the past several thousand years. This project will enable us to determine the role that warm water masses have on ice sheet stability, which is immediately relevant to concerns that ongoing warming is destabilizing Antarctica’s ice sheets, resulting in global sea level rise."
"What is your research topic on, Jonathan Sharp?"
"I am a student in Robert Byrne's lab studying the marine carbonate system. I am investigating the influence of particulate organic matter on the titration alkalinity of seawater. I am also working on developing novel in situ sensors to measure carbonate system parameters. I'll be sailing on the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise in May to gather important water chemistry data and to broaden my scientific perspectives."
"What is your research topic on, Amanda Sosnowski?"
My Master’s research is focused on intraspecies variation and population connectivity in deep-sea cephalopods, as well as linking taxonomic diagnoses with DNA barcodes. My main research objectives include: determining genetic diversity in deep-sea cephalopods at the species level, determining genetic connectivity in deep-sea cephalopods at the regional level across different stations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), and determining genetic connectivity in deep-sea cephalopods at the population level across disjunct basins separated by the Florida Peninsula (GoM and Northwest Atlantic Ocean). By studying the genetic diversity and population connectivity in deep-sea cephalopods, my research will lend a fuller picture to the amount of gene flow amongst cephalopod species in the GoM and Northwest Atlantic Ocean. It is imperative to understand the gene pool and genetic exchange of deep-sea cephalopods to determine if demographic independence exists among populations, and subsequently, assess their vulnerability to impact and recovery after disturbance.
Congratulations to Kara, Jonathan, and Amanda!