Emma Dixon, ‘13, is studing the effect of urban development on plant communities in residential yards. She has conducted surveys in 31 yards and three reference sites in the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area to document the plant species present and the area they cover in lawns and unmanaged grasslands. She is currently working to quantify the biodiversity represented at these sites by examining the phylogenetic, or evolutionary, relationships in the community. Emma will then compare biodiversity to various site-specific urbanization metrics, including age of development and housing density.
Yawei Ge, ‘13, is working with David Rand in EEB and David Mark Welch at the MBL’s Josephine Bay Paul Center. She is studying the interactions between the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Specifically, her project will focus on the effects of mitochondrial genes on the transcription of nuclear DNA in response to environments with too little oxygen, using Drosophila as a model system.
Emma and Yawei received funding for their research starting in summer 2012 and continuing through the 2012-2013 academic year and summer 2013. Throughout this time, Emma and Yawei attend weekly meetings with their mentors and attend special events at the Science Center, which houses the Beckman Program. For more information, contact Dean David Targan, Associate Dean of the College for Science and Director of the Science Center.