Biology Student Conducts Research in Ecuador
September 13, 2017
Dana Wessels, a second-year graduate student in the Master of Biology program with an emphasis in Aquatic Science, recently conducted a research project in the cloud forests of Mindo, Ecuador. For three months, she worked alongside Dr. Krynak, a professor at Ohio Northern University, and together Dana and Dr. Krynak studied two stream systems. One stream harbored a series of Rainbow trout farms (commercially raised fish for consumption) throughout, and a second stream without any trout farms affecting their study site. The objective of their research was to measure potential differences in the stream ecosystems affected by trout farming. In addition, the project focused on macroinvertebrate samples taken at each site and used for comparisons.
Dana spent the remainder of Summer working in the Universidad San Francisco in Cumbaya, Ecuador. During her time in Cumbaya, she analyzed the phosphate and nitrate levels from water samples taken from the stream systems. Dana said, “I was very fortunate to work with and learn from Dr. Krynak and get an opportunity to assist with her project in addition to my own. I am so thankful that I was able to return to Ecuador to do my graduate research, and that alongside Dr. Krynak, we were able to do so much in those three months.”
Through funding by the Michigan Space Grant and a Presidential Research Grant from Grand Valley State University, Dana’s research project in Ecuador was made possible.