Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dominique McCowan

This summer I was lucky and privileged to work with Dominique McGowan.  From the first day she took me all around and showed me everything I needed to know in order to complete my project!  She is a brilliant chick that also happens to be cool as ever!  We went to Orpheus Island to collect samples and had such a great time!  Dominique taught me valuable lab skills and we often spoke about her research on Coral Reef Ecology.  Let me tell you a little about her!  She moved here three years ago from the states.  She has never left and I know why!  Australia is awesome.  As soon as she arrived she finished up her undergrad degree and jumped straight into research with Dr. Morgan Pratchett due to her advanced experience working with mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.    Her first thesis was on the Synergistic Effect of Salinity and Temperature with Bleaching Events.  She is now working towards her PHD and also her second thesis which has to do with variability and susceptibility of corals to mass bleaching events.  She is looking into how much variation there is in one species and how much time it takes them to bleach.  She has measured many, many factors that affect variation.  She is now comparing the thermal thresholds of 2 species at 3 locations along the Great Barrier Reef.  Lizard Island, Orpheus Island, and Heron Island.  They all have varied thermal histories so she is really interested in the results.  Right now she is also taking a dozen species from eight different families and measuring their susceptibility to bleaching.  She is finding some are bleaching tolerant.  She is working on one of kind research and the first to use such a large number of species to research!  Dominique is awesome, energetic, and intelligent.  You go girl!!!!!

On our way to Orpheus Island

Counting Zooxanthellae


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