November 2018 Newsletter

A Closer Look #188


Igor Mrdjen

Pictured: Sarah Hamsher

Sarah Hamsher joins AWRI Faculty

Dr. Sarah Hamsher joined GVSU this fall as an assistant professor in a joint position between the Biology Department and AWRI. Sarah received her B.S. in Writing and Environment from Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA and her M.S. in Environmental and Plant Biology from Ohio University in Athens, OH.  She completed her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

Sarah is a phycologist (studies algae) and is most interested in diatoms, a group of algae with silica cell walls that are often used as indicators of water quality. She’s drawn to questions of speciation and evolutionary relationships, the structure of genomes, and the use of algae as indicators of water quality. In the next year, she’ll be investigating the diversity of Nitzschia, a diatom genus that often serves an indicator of organic pollution, in local watersheds. Sarah’s also interested in studying the role of mixotrophic protists (microorganisms that can take energy from a variety of sources to take advantage of different environmental conditions) in the environment, water quality in the region, diatom genomics, and developing molecular tools to answer biological and ecological questions.



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