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Meet Our Students - Erika Lyon

LyonWhat year and semester did you begin EES graduate studies?
May 2013

What degree are you pursuing?
M.S. Ecology & Environmental Science

Who is your academic advisor?
Dr. Seanna Annis

What prior degrees do you have?
B.A. Environmental Science from Simpson College, IA

Why did you choose to attend grad school at UMaine? Why did you choose EES?
I have a lot of interests (like working with fungi, plants, wildlife, genetics, disease ecology, conservation biology, working outdoors, working indoors, etc.), and I was able to find a program and project that included many of my interests.

 

Briefly describe the research project you are working on.
I work with Valdensinia heterodoxa, a fungal pathogen of blueberries and other ericaceous plants.  My research examines the genetic variation between populations of the fungus in Maine and Nova Scotia through DNA fingerprinting, and I will also be looking at how plant condition and genetics influence the spread of disease.

What have been your favorite classes at UMaine so far? If you are new to UMaine, which classes are you most looking forward to taking?
All of my classes so far are amazing, and I look forward to all of the ones I have yet to take.

What has been your most rewarding research experience and why? If you are new to UMaine, what are your research goals?
Getting a DNA extraction to finally work.  It took a lot longer than I thought it would.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate students?
Don’t panic.  In the words of Lt. Commander Data, “the most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is, ‘I do not know.’ ”

Are you interested in mentoring undergraduates?
Yes


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