Science students present research at international conference in Hawaii
3/9/2017 9:44:03 AMThird year biology student Catherine Fiset and fourth-year honours biochemistry student Jenna Melanson just returned from their first international conference — The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography — in Hawaii. The pair was invited to attend and present at the conference by their research supervisors, Dr. Zoe Finkel and Dr. Amanda Cockshutt.
Fiset and Melanson were two of the few undergraduate Canadian students presenting at the conference, which was attended predominantly by graduate and PhD students and faculty.
“It was an amazing opportunity and it’s still unreal that it happened,” says Fiset.
Fiset has worked in Dr. Finkel’s lab the past two summers. Her research looks at the average macromolecular composition of seaweeds. She presented a poster of her research at the conference.
“It was such a great learning opportunity,” she says. “I had the chance to meet so many people that do interesting work and it was a real eye opener about the kinds of research that are out there.”
Melanson’s research is on the function of an unknown protein in Prochlorococcus marine synechococcus. She also had the opportunity to present her research poster at the conference.
“It was so cool,” she says. “It was great to present but also to get to learn about areas that I wasn’t as familiar with.”
Melanson says the research experience she has gained at Mount Allison has been invaluable, especially at the undergraduate level.
“It was really an honour and a privilege to have this research experience at Mount A,” she says. “I have already been able to do two years of research and that will give me the upper hand when applying to graduate schools.”
Melanson’s supervisor Dr. Cockshutt says very few undergraduate students get to immerse themselves in their field in this way.
“They got to see first hand how world-class scientists work together, how they think, and how they tackle complicated problems,” says Cockshutt. "Jenna and Catherine got a good feel for what the field is like and how science might fit into their futures."