Anita Harrington ('17, Marine Biology & Oceanography, Chemistry Minor)

Mary JaskowiakWhat do you do for your undergraduate research?

As a sophomore, I started working in the Marine Atmospheric Chemistry Research Lab as a DIS student. There, I collected rainwater and ran samples to set standards and tes for different ions using ion chromatography. During my junior year, I started working on my honors project in Dr. Condon's lab at the Center for Marine Science. I am going to be working on part of a larger project called the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS). Little is known regarding the details of planktonic food webs relationships. Since they hold so much information regarding productivity and carbon export, I will be using stable isotope ratios to develop a more accurate food web and learn about carbon exchange on the inside and outside of specific eddies in the Sargasso Sea.

What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?

I wanted to challenge myself by using all that I was learning in my various biology, oceanography, and chemistry classes. Learning in the classroom setting is fine but I felt I would develop a deeper understanding by working in the lab and learning through my experimental results and even my mistakes.

How did you start your research project?

I took marine biology over the summer with Dr. Condon and one day he mentioned a project he was working on. After that class, I told him I would be very interested in helping and together we developed an idea for my honors project.

Was doing your own research fun? Be Honest.

Honestly it has been pretty challenging so far but I would say there are definitely some fun moments. Then again, I think looking at crazy zooplankton under the microscope is cool so maybe it depends on what your consider fun! I know when I finish my project it will be very rewarding.

It isn't required to do research as an undergrad, so what advantages do you think this experience has provided you?

It has definitely given me an idea about what I want and waht I don't want to do in the future. It also gives me a head start for graduate school so I can go in feeling more confident about working in different labs and dealing with different equipment and protocols.

What recognition and/or grants did you receive for your research?

I did not receives and grants or recognition yet but hopefully I will when I apply!

What are your plans after you receive your degree from UNCW?

After I graduate, I hope to attend graduate school and continue to study and research topics involving biological oceanography working towards my Ph.D. I plan on always living close to the ocean and traveling as much as possible.

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