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Biology major Carson Savrick receives Sigma-Xi Grant

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    This gel shows a screen for the rat lungworm parasite. The samples from Texas here do not contain the parasite. The band next to the ladder represents a "control" snail - one known to be infected by the parasite.

Biology major receives small grant from national society to use molecular tools to ask ecological questions about exotic, invasive apple snails.

Junior biology major Carson Savrick received a $500 Grants-in-Aid from the Sigma Xi Research Society to support her molecular ecology undergraduate research project.  Only about 20% of the hundreds of proposals submitted received funding and the competition does not distinguish between undergraduate and graduate student work.  In collaboration with colleague Dr. Kenneth Hayes at Howard University and with the research mentoring of Dr. Romi Burks in the Biology Department, Carson has developed a project that investigates the direction in which exotic, invasive apple snail (Pomacea maculata) populations spread across the southeastern United States.  In addition, Carson will use molecular tools (DNA extraction and PCR) to screen a subsample of snails for different populations for a parasite, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which can pose a human health concern.  Carson will present preliminary results of this work at The Texas Academy of Science meeting in March and at the Creative Works Symposium at Southwestern in April.