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Ellie with her research poster

Ellie Lee

Bryn Mawr College

Research Mentor: Carol Stepien

Project: A Dual Approach to Biodiversity Analysis in the Salish Sea: Multigene Metabarcoding in Concert with Morphology

This summer, I worked at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) in the Genetics & Genomics Group. My project was about combining two methods of biodiversity assessment into one comparative and comprehensive study. Using both morphology and multi-gene metabarcode analysis to identify taxa to species level, we were able to create a more complete picture of fish and invertebrate biodiversity in the Salish Sea. I had the chance to go on the Washington Ocean Acidification Center cruise where I was able to collect my own samples from plankton nets, which I then brought back to lab to prepare for sequencing. I was able to spend time in the field collecting data, in the lab preparing samples, and then on the computer analyzing some of the data that came back from sequencing runs; I was able to see virtually every step in the process of conducting a study, and I enjoyed every step of the way.