PRI staff supervises senior theses

PRI staff supervise senior theses by Cornell undergraduates

Director Warren Allmon supervised one student in Spring 2014:

Katharine Onofryton

Katharine Onofryton (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences/Science of Earth Systems, ’14): “Phylogenetic analysis of turritelline gastropods (Cerithioidea, Turritellidae) from Panama and vicinity using continuous morphological characters”. Katharine worked in collaboration with another of Warren’s undergraduate students, Stephanie Sang ’15, on the first-ever detailed evolutionary tree of this group of marine snails based on shell characters. Katharine and Stephanie will be combining their results and preparing a manuscript for submission to a journal this fall. Stephanie’s own senior thesis is focusing on genetic evolutionary analysis of the same species, combined with fossils from Panama and vicinity. Katharine is now working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Dr. Greg Dietl supervised two students:

Thomas Butler (Natural Resources, ’14): “Fidelity of Death vs. Live Assemblages of Xanthid Mud Crabs from Louisiana Gulf Coast Oyster Reefs”. Tom’s thesis developed a novel method to correct for potential bias in comparisons between the whole body of living crabs and the disarticulated remains of dead crabs that are commonly preserved in the sediments of oyster reefs. Tom is continuing his work at PRI for part of the summer and then traveling.

Emma Reed

Emma Reed (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences/Science of Earth Systems, ’14): “Dead Snails Do Tell Tales: Invasive Rat Predation Recorded in Fossil Endemic Snails at Makauwahi Cave, Kaua’i”. Emma’s thesis used the trace fossil record of failed rat predation preserved as healed repair scars on the shells of land snails to replace speculation about the role of rats in the extinction of Kaua’i’s land snail fauna. Emma will be starting in the PhD program at the University of Arizona in the fall.