Student Testimonials

Samantha Rumschlag

Miami University
Gaige Fund Award, 2012

"How will factors associated with climate change affect amphibian disease dynamics in the presence of pesticides?"

student researcher

Receiving the Gaige Fund Award has allowed me to conduct research that will become an essential part of my doctoral dissertation, which focuses on the impact of environmental stressors on infectious disease dynamics. This funding has awarded me the opportunity to complete a study which examines how susceptibility to the amphibian chytrid fungus changes with developmental stage and larval pesticide exposure. Receiving this award and completing this project have bolstered my interest in understanding how infectious disease emerge in amphibian populations.

Bradley Carlson

The Pennsylvania State University
Gaige Fund Award, 2011

"Gene flow and local adaptation of gape size in eastern newts"

student researcher

I am broadly interested in the evolutionary ecology of trait variation within species, currently focusing primarily on pond-breeding amphibians.  I have been exploring local adaptation of gape size in eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) populations.  My preliminary studies revealed that newts from ponds with abundant tadpole prey had wider mouths than those from ponds with few tadpoles.  I will be using this award to verify these findings by rearing newts in a common garden environment and subsequently using genetic markers to quantify gene flow between differentiated populations.  I am grateful for the Gaige award, which has supported this research both financially and by encouraging me in the development of my scientific career.

Valentina Di Santo

Boston University
Raney Fund Award, 2011

“Ecological physiology responses of the little skate: potential for adaptation in rapid climate change”

student researcher

The Raney Award was an extremely valuable resource for my dissertation research. Receiving the award allowed me to start investigating the effect of multiple climate change stressors (water warming and acidification) on different life stages of two latitudinally separated populations of little skate (Leucoraja erinacea), by employing a whole-organism eco-physiology approach. This research will contribute to fundamental understanding of how organisms (in this case elasmobranchs) cope with physiological challenges and reestablish homeostasis in response to altered environment. The Raney Award gave me both funding and encouragement to develop a more sophisticated experimental set-up for my study.

Stacey Farina

Cornell University
Raney Fund Award, 2011

“Functional anatomy of gill ventilation in the Goosefish (Lophius americanus)”

Stacy Farina

Restricted gill openings have evolved many times among bony fishes. Working with live fishes is an important aspect of my goal to understand of the functional implications of this modified opercular opening morphology. As a first year graduate student, the Raney Award gave me the financial support to obtain, transport, and maintain live goosefish to study differences between their slow (cryptic) and rapid (disturbed) ventilation behaviors. In the fall, I will use remaining funds to obtain x-ray video to analyze skeletal movements during these behaviors.

blacktail rattlesnake and car on a road
rattlesnake coiled next to some desert rocks
CT scan of nursery fish