High School Senior Presents Research at 2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference
– JUNE 8, 2017
(From Spring 2017 Newsletter) Ansley Chaplin is a senior at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama. Last summer, she was awarded the Russell Quackenbush scholarship, offered by Dr. Jeff Krause and funded by the National Science Foundation, to participate in a summer research experience that included a marine science course and the opportunity to spend two weeks doing research in Dr. Krause’s lab at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Dr. Krause created the program as a way of ‘paying it forward’ after his own experience being mentored by his high school marine biology teacher Mr. Russell Quackenbush.
For her research project, Ansley studied diatoms in Mobile Bay. In particular, she investigated the interaction between silicon and geranium on the diatom community in the bay. Diatoms make their shells out of silicon; if there is not enough silicon in the surrounding environment, they will not grow or reproduce. This is important because diatoms are at the base of the food chain, and low diatom abundances could have impacts on food availability all the way up the food chain. She continued her research with Dr. Krause’s lab as a part of her senior year project.
This past February, Ansley was invited to present her research at the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science conference during one of the poster sessions. Her poster was titled Magnitude and Spatial Variability of Large Siliceous Particles on the Mississippi- Alabama Shelf During the Spring of 2016 and gave credit to the CONCORDE consortium. Visitors to her poster commented that she fit right in with the other scientists sharing their research and was very knowledgeable about her work; Tina Miller-Way from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab said Ansley was excited to be there and was pleased that visitors to her poster were interested in the science, too, not just her experience as a high school student participating in the conference.