“The Isolation of Diatom-Infecting Viruses from the South-Eastern Coast of O‘ahu.”
Mentor: Grieg Steward
Diatoms play an important role in the marine ecosystem, such that, they contribute to the levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, and they serve as a food source for several types of marine life, including fish. In this investigation, my objective is to find viruses that infect diatoms, and if my research is successful, I will isolate the virus(es), and then proceed to sequence them. My research will help others to better understand diatom-infecting viruses, and contribute to the little known information there is in this relatively new field.
“Fine scale mapping of microbial communities associated with a massive coral colony of the genus Porites.”
Mentor: Michael S. Rappé
A comprehensive investigation of microbial communities associated with a single massive coral colony has not yet been undertaken. By examining the scleractinian coral genus Porites, I will perform high-resolution sampling on the microbial environment around a massive colony of this coral in Kaneohe Bay. After obtaining tissue samples, the process of airbrushing and molecular biological procedures will be used to identify bacterial community members. My goal is to assess whether bacterial populations vary across a single coral colony, and whether this variation correlates to specific environmental variables.
“Cross-amplification of microsatellite loci in Diploria reef corals.”
Mentor: Dave Carlon
Corals are significant organisms providing the base of reef ecosystems. However, they have been on the decline due to erosion, increasing water temperatures, and sea level rises. To study their population structure, I will be sequencing brain coral taken from Florida Keys, Panama, and Flower Garden Banks for 15 microsattlelite loci. Studying the population structure of Diploria will help asses future survival rates and set up an efficient management system.
“Study of Land Derived Arsenic (As) Source Materials In Hawai‘i.”
Mentor: Eric DeCarlo
This study will serve as an investigation of source materials and the biogeochemical controls that govern the distribution and speciation of As under tropical conditions in soils and marine sediments. There will be a focus on the Waianae area of O‘ahu because of the public concern owing to seemingly elevated As concentrations in biota (fish) that potentially could be derived from at sea discarded military munitions and on Central O‘ahu because of the anticipated As enrichment due to past use of As containing pesticides in sugar plantations. Soil and sediment samples will be collected and analyzed to determine the variations of As concentrations with soil column depth as well as spatially from central island to coastal waters out to 120 feet.
“Spatial variability of archaeal 16s and 16s pSL 12 gene abundances along a Fiji to Hawaii transect.”
Mentor: Matthew J Church
Archaea are the main nitrifiers in the marine environment. All archaea that oxidize ammonia into nitrite contain the amoA gene. Since archaea are prokaryotes, most share a common 16s gene sequence, but not all archaea that oxidize ammonia contain a 16s gene sequence. This discrepancy has to be accounted for. In order to account for this difference, I will quantify the abundance of microbes containing archaeal 16s_pSL12 gene. This research has implications for better understanding hot topics such as the marine food web and global climate variability.
“The effects of benzo-a-pyrene on the growth rates of scleractinian corals, Porites hawaiiensis and Pocillopora hawaiiensis.”
Mentor: Robert Richmond
This research will help the public and scientific communities better understand how hydrocarbons effect coral growth rates and at what concentrations the growth rates are effected most.
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“Developing a Global Change Science Kit: Interactive lessons on the role of humans impacting the global climate system.”
Mentor: Barbara Gibson
Educational activities are a valuable resource used to teach youth and the public about science, especially the interconnected effects of global climate change on our Blue Planet. A single disturbance to the environment can have negative effects on the whole globe, as seen by the effects of human carbon output. To teach youth about these impacts, I will create a science kit which addresses albedo, positive and negative feedback systems, sea-level rise, and human carbon foot printing.
"Applications of GIS for management within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument."
Mentor: Kaylene Keller
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are an extremely sensitive and diverse set of Islands. They house many different endemic species, historical, and cultural sites. With such precious resources, this area must be managed properly. Through the use of GIS and satellite imagery I will be creating various maps to help manage sensitive areas with in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument, and other marine protected areas.
“Exploration of distribution and virulence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the Ala Wai Canal.”
Mentor: Grieg Steward
Vibrio parahaemolyticus are abundant bacteria in the Ala Wai Canal here in Hawaii. Because of the seriousness of the bacteria, (ie., the serious infections and fatalities that the bacteria can cause upon ingestion), I will look at the distribution, virulence, and determinants of the vibrio. Through looking at the genes that are present in colony, I will be able to see which are favorable to growth and under which conditions. I seek to control the growth and contamination of the water by determining which conditions that are present in the Ala Wai promote its growth.
”Cross referencing position and in situ environmental data collected through blue shark tagging with the World Ocean Database and the World Ocean Atlas.”
Mentor: Kevin Weng
The feasibility and efficacy of using tracking technology is important to support studies concerning migration and population patterns of marine species. For example, fishery assessments of the Blue Shark, Prionace glauca, are showing that these predators are a large portion of the bycatch in the North East Pacific Ocean. Through the use of tagging and satellite technology, the recorded movement data of Blue Sharks, combined with in situ environmental data provides information about migration patterns, and foraging habits of their population. This information may be used to improve upon current fishing strategies by focusing the effort on catching a target species without the bycatch of Blue Sharks. This project entails cross referencing the environmental data collected from the tagged shark with in situ ship and buoy data, such as the World Ocean Database and the World Ocean Atlas.