Lindsay Richards

 
Mentor: Dr. Keith Willmoth
Florida Museum of Natural History
 
"I took a really interesting systematics class my first semester, in which I learned the importance of describing and classifying species and became inspired to start making my own contributions to this endeavor of the scientific community."

Major

Mathematics and Biology

Minor

International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

Research Interests

  • Conservation
  • DNA Barcoding
  • Systematics

Academic Awards

  • Emerging Scholars Program 2015-2016
  • University Scholars Program 2015
  • National Merit Scholar 2015

Organizations

  • UF Ted Club
  • Honors Program
  • Campus Juice

Volunteer

  • St. Francis House

Hobbies and Interests

  • Running
  • Knitting
  • Programming
  • Piano

Research Description

DNA Barcoding of Taygetis Butterflies
There are currently thousands of unidentified specimens within this genus, all showing minimal variation in wing pattern and inconclusive morphological characteristics. As such, I will use the new method of DNA barcoding to sort out disparities within the Taygetis genus. This process involves DNA extraction, followed by a PCR to amplify the CO1 gene. I will then use gel electrophoresis to ensure that the PCR worked as intended, and then finally analyze sequence data to create a phylogenetic tree that will help me compare the relationships between different specimens. The ultimate goal of this project is to gather species data from species in the Neotropics, both by forming my own data from barcoding and researching existing information from other sources to work towards revising the current data in collection.