Turner ’21 chosen for undergraduate research program

For ten weeks this summer, Judson College senior Ti-Ara Turner is gaining valuable research experience through the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Research Experience for Undergraduates (DISL REU) program. The DISL REU program is funded by the National Science Foundation and provides intensive research experience and career development for undergraduates in STEM fields.

“To be accepted into an NSF-funded and incredibly competitive undergraduate research program like the one at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is an remarkable accomplishment,” says Dr. Mary Anne Garner, Associate Professor of Biology at Judson. Garner says that Turner’s acceptance into the program is a testament to her “constant hard work” and dedicated pursuit of her goals.

A Mongtomery native and graduate of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, Ala., Turner is one of eight undergraduate students chosen for the program. Turner is a biology major with chemistry and music minors, and she plans to attend graduate school for immunology or genetic engineering.

During the DISL REU program, students partner with a DISL faculty mentor to design, conduct, and present results of an independent scientific study. Turner is working with Dr. Ruth Carmichael, a Senior Marine Scientist at DISL. Their summer research focuses on the assimilation of trace metals by oyster tissue and shells, which has the potential to serve as a bioindicator of water pollution.

“I’ve enjoyed my Research for Undergraduates Experience thus far,” says Turner. “I’ve gained new lab skills, knowledge of different lab technology, and knowledge of marine organisms. Aside from my research, I’ve been able to work with graduate students and researchers in their labs and field studies. Some of these activities include helping with dolphin necropsies, manatee necropsies, contributing to studies on dolphin diets, etc. I am thankful for this diverse learning experience.”