UNCW Honors Student Michael Wooster Awarded KAUST Internship in Saudi Arabia

Monday, April 06, 2015

Michael Wooster, an Honors student in the UNCW Department of Biology and Marine Biology, has earned an internship at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (KAUST).

Wooster, who graduates from UNCW next month, is participating as part of the KAUST Visiting Student Research Program, which will allow him to study marine science in the Red Sea this summer. He will be working in the Reef Ecology lab under the direction of Michael Berumen. In addition to being provided housing and having travel expenses covered, program participants are given a stipend.

Previously, Wooster completed a coral reef ecology field course in Bocas Del Toro and a Research Experiences for Undergraduates internship at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences: BIOS.

Gaining experience in a new area of research is what Wooster is most excited about. He is also anxious to dive and explore the reefs in the Red Sea and see how they compare to the ones in the Caribbean.

“I have always loved the water but it wasn't until college that I knew I wanted to do research. There is so much we don't know about the ocean compared to systems on land and that fascinates me,” said Wooster.

After graduation, Wooster plans to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research in marine science. He is a member of the Beta Beta Beta National Honors Biological Society.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for one of our students to participate in cutting-edge research, explore a unique culture and habitat and gain invaluable international experience,” said Christopher Finelli, chair of the department of biology and marine biology.