Five science scholars set for a summer of exciting research at Cawthron Institute
Cawthron Institute has welcomed five Summer Scholarship recipients this week as they commence their highly sought-after summer placements.
Each year Cawthron Institute offers 10-week scholarships over summer to undergraduate students, providing them with an opportunity to contribute to an active scientific research project and be mentored by top Cawthron scientists.
This year five scholars will join Cawthron, two of whom are from Nelson, and will contribute to a wide range of research from lake health, shellfish behaviour and larvae development, through to salmon exercise and seafood safety science communication. All scholars are high academic achievers, have contributed to community activities, and are strong advocates for the environment and science-led research.
Megan Exton received the Kathleen Curtis scholarship. Her project will have a focus on how to improve the reliability of hatchery production of triploid Pacific oysters using tetraploid parents. Megan grew up in Nelson, has studied environmental law and is currently studying zoology at the University of Otago. “I am looking forward to learning about larvae development and working in a research team at Cawthron,” says Megan.
Shana Dooley received the Theodore Rigg scholarship. Shana is currently studying at Lincoln University and is excited for the opportunity to undertake both social science research and GIS analysis to understand how people view and access lakes. Shana says, “I am hoping to learn how to incorporate both qualitative and quantitative data in research and how to share research findings with the public to increase knowledge and generate interest in New Zealand's lakes.”
Alyssa Thomas (Ngātiwai in Northland) received the Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi scholarship, which is offered in partnership with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. Alyssa is studying at Victoria University of Wellington and her project is about understanding how shellfish behaviour can be an indicator of health and performance. She says, “I am hoping for the opportunity to apply both sides of my degree - physical geography and mātauranga Māori - in making progress towards more sustainable and conscious environmental practices.”
Anita Bentley received one of two Emerging Scientist scholarships, which have been offered for the first time in 2020. She is currently studying at the University of Otago. While at Cawthron, Anita says that she is “hoping to apply science communication techniques in the real world, while learning more about the seafood safety research programme. My main scientific interests are anything geography related. I really enjoy coastal geomorphology and paleoclimatology, however, I am excited to delve into the marine field!”
Effie Gledhill received the second Emerging Scientist Scholarship. Effie grew up in Nelson and is studying for a Bachelor of Aquaculture and Marine Conservation at NMIT and while at Cawthron will be looking at the effect of exercise on juvenile salmon performance. She says, “I have always loved the ocean and am passionate towards learning about its vast ecosystems. This experience will allow me to get hands on with large scale research and give me a better understanding of salmonids needs.
The scholarships are supported by Cawthron Institute as part of its philanthropic science education programme to inspire the next generation of scientists. Donations are invited for the 2020-2021 scholarships – email [email protected].