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Meet Our Students - Heather Arnett

Heather ArnettWhat year and semester did you begin EES graduate studies?
Fall 2010

What degree are you pursuing?
Ph.D.

Who is your academic advisor?
Dr. Michael Kinnison

What prior degrees do you have?
B.S. Biology and Chemistry from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
M.S. Ecology and Environmental Science from University of Maine

Why did you choose to attend grad school at UMaine? Why did you choose EES?
Grad school at UMaine has great programs and EES in particular is so great because it is interdisciplinary.

Briefly describe the research project you are working on.
I look at contemporary evolution, or evolution that occurs more rapidly than most people think.  This rapid evolution generally occurs in less than 10 generations and because it is such a quick response there is the potential for the adaptations to have a feedback response on the ecosystem.  In this way, evolution can shape the environment.  We are looking at this with mosquitofish, a small fish stocked across the U.S. for biological control of insects.

What have been your favorite classes at UMaine so far?
BIO 547 Experimental Aquatic Ecology with Dr. Michael Kinnison and BIO 597 Speciation with Dr. Brian Olsen.

What has been your most rewarding research experience and why?
A mesocosm experiment looking at density, sex-ratio, and population source for mosquitofish and looking at some ecosystem response variables.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate students?
Don’t give up. Sometimes there are a lot of obstacles. Push through and keep your dream in mind to stay the path.

Are you interested in mentoring undergraduates?
Yes.


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