I received my B.S. in Biology (and a minor in chemistry) from EWU in the Spring of 2011. Currently I am pursuing a microbial stream ecology thesis, which incorporates a few of my favorite areas of study: the environment, microbiology and molecular biology. My study area is Latah Watershed (aka Hangman Watershed), here in Eastern WA. The purpose of my research is to determine if there is a correlation between the amount of agricultural runoff and overall nitrifier abundance, as well as a change in microbial species diversity. The two molecular techniques I will be using (qPCR and T-RFLP) on DNA extracted from the sediment microbes will allow me to quantify a functional gene (amo-monooxygenase) in nitrifiers, and calculate overall species diversity based on the small ribosomal subunit, 16s rRNA.
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