As an undergraduate at Eastern Illinois University, Daniel took a leap of faith and began to help one of his professors, a limnologist, with his summer research. "I got into it and started doing algae projects with him, and it just kind of stuck." His current research, under Dr. Ryan King, deals with agar solutions and nutrient enrichment mostly nitrogen and the effect it has on biofilms in streams, specifically in the headwater streams of Alaska.
Although the outdoors initially inspired Lauren's main degree in Biology, research opportunities pushed her toward pursuing a career in environmental toxicology. These initial classes and support from mentors resulted in Lauren acquiring a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) to study biofilms. This combination of experiences she feels is what brought her to Baylor: "It not only facilitated my exposure to research techniques and writing and presenting experiences, but also brought me into contact with my current advisor. Through my REU experience I met Dr. Bryan Brooks, with whom I now work."
The Lake Waco Wetlands have been a huge part of Melissa's life over the past few years. Once the area was constructed, "we got this big education outreach grant, and someone was needed to coordinate it. It wasn't what I came back to Baylor to do, but I was really excited about it so I applied and was put in charge."
I received undergraduate degrees in Biology and Biochemistry, which was crucial in giving me the background to join Dr. Cole Matson's lab and pursue Evolutionary Toxicology. I hope to continue in this field and maybe develop the understanding of it in order to improve regulatory decision making to include evolutionary impacts of pollution.
Caleb is broadly interested in basic freshwater ecology. As part of the Alaska Headwater Stream project under advisor Ryan King, Caleb is studying the influence of watershed features, primarily alder and wetlands, on stream production. Caleb graduated from Harding University in 2012.