Undergraduate Research Assistants, Gia Fisher, Rudy Hummel, and Kevin Surya, received research grants from the Undergraduate Scholars Program at MSU to fund their research projects during the 2017-18 academic year. Gia is working with Chris Organ (lab PI) to develop the very first developmental “phylogeny” and to test if accounting for the shared developmental history of tissues impacts the statistical results of comparative tissue studies. Rudy is developing a more-comprehensive phylogeny for gorgonopsian synapsids (a group of mammal-like reptiles) to test hypotheses concerning their dispersal across Pangea. Kevin, for his senior thesis, is testing if the use of molecular phylogenies (scaled by nucleotide substitutions) in comparative methods is more accurate than phylogenies scaled by time. All students received the full award amount for their research grants, $1,800! Congratulations, Gia, Rudy, and Kevin!
Link to the Undergraduate Scholars Program’s webpage: http://www.montana.edu/usp/