Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jessica Glass Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Marine Fisheries Research from Alaska to Africa

Today we had a visit from Jessica Glass, a Yale Ph.D student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department who actually went on a trip with the Bay & Paul students to visit the Maritime Aquarium where were got to meet other teens and dissect a dog fish. Another interesting fact is that she got her undergraduate degree at Yale and was on the Polo Team! For her graduate work she participated in MESAS which stands for Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in the Arctic and Subarctic at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In Alaska she was researching the scallop industry there to learn about the ecosystems in the benthic zones around the large Alaskan coastline. To do this she befriended Alaskan fishermen who allowed her to look at their bycatch before throwing it into the ocean.

At Yale this year she will be working on correcting the phylogenetic tree of carangiforms (flounders, flatfish and billfish). Her research will be taking place on the islands around Madagascar and also the coastline of South Africa. She is interested in finding some driving forces of marine fish evolution in the western indian ocean and relating her work in phylogenetics to marine conservation efforts as well. Some of her planned methodologies include discovering these fishes’ position on the food chain, taking genetic samples (fin clips) and tagging the fish as well.

I personally found this presentation really interesting and I enjoyed it thoroughly.It was obvious that she had a passion for what she does and wants to share her knowledge with others, this encompasses the Bay & Paul Fellowship goal of learning and then distributing that knowledge with others. It was really nice to see professionals with the same goals in mind.  

Mairead Brennan