Student NamePatricia Perez
Faculty Mentor NameMarina Ascunce
CollegePlant Pathology
MajorEnvironmental Science
Research InterestsEvolutionary Biology, Ecology, Entomology
Academic AwardsThompson Institute for Earth Systems Grant (2018-2019)
VolunteeringConservation Teen Scientist at Zoo Miami, Conservation Student Scholar at Fairchild Botanical Garden

Why I got involved in research:

I had a deep interest in better understanding the innovations of science around me.

Research Project

Microbial Diversity in the Digestive Tract of the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis Invicta)

To study the microbial diversity in the digestive tract of the Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA), the digestive tract will be removed to conduct DNA extractions. The DNA extracts will be sent to a sequencing facility to obtain high-throughput bacterial ribosomal 16S amplicon data. The DNA will then be analyzed with QIIME and R software, in order to better compare species richness and relative abundance of bacterial species in the guts of the ants in different environments and seasons.