For the summer 2018, SURFO program participant Sarah Paulson (Wesleyan University) is profiling the microbial community associated with local oysters infected with the parasite causing the Dermo disease. For ten weeks, Sarah, a rising senior in biology, is working in the laboratory of Dr. Ying Zhang and with graduate student Zach Pimentel. She is exploring the relationship between the oyster microbiome and severity of infection with the parasite, using 16S rRNA sequencing in various tissue samples. The SURFO program (https://web.uri.edu/gso/what-we-do/academics/surfo-program/) is funded by the National Science Foundation and provides stipends and housing for 12 students from all over the US to explore research opportunities in oceanography.
Featured Image: Sarah Paulson sampling oysters in the Blount Lab, a facility specifically designed for the study of pathogens at the Graduate School of Oceanography.