Maryland sea grant REU fellow, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Cambridge, Md.
With the iconic Chesapeake Bay as her subject of study, Gabrielle King spent her summer months as a Maryland Sea Grant REU Fellow at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES).
A senior biology major from Clairton, Pa., King’s main responsibility was to characterize predator-prey interactions between copepod Eurytemora carolleege nauplii and Heterocapsa rotundata, both species that thrive in the Chesapeake Bay area. In order to determine interactions, King conducted grazing and survival experiments that she later presented to her co-workers at the end of the summer.
Spending 40 hours a week at an internship may seem daunting for some students, but for King, she saw it as an opportunity.
“I applied to my internship because I wanted to get real research experience in marine biology,” said King. “I read about potential mentors at the program who worked with plankton as well as other organisms, and that piqued my interest. I had zero experience with plankton, so I was really hoping I could do some research with them.”
Although not entirely sure what to expect, King felt confident and prepared heading into her internship because of the strong academics she received at Waynesburg University.
“My courses gave me the background in biology that I needed in order to successfully participate in the program,” said King. “A general biology background in areas like ecology served as a basis from which I was able to build my research.”
Working with an organization centered around sustainability and the livelihoods of people, King was able to recognize the importance of service and relate it back to Waynesburg’s mission.
“The knowledge I gained this summer not only fueled my passion for learning, but also contributed to my understanding of the Chesapeake Bay which can be used to help others,” said King. “The more we know, the better we can address issues and keep the Bay healthy.”