RNews aired a segment June 17 on the zebra mussel research being conducted at Hobart and William Smith Colleges by Professor Brian Shelley and seniors Jessica Werder and David Costello.
In an interview on campus Werder, accompanied by Professor Jim Ryan, detailed the research that has been conducted while working on Colleges’ research ship, the HWS William Scandling. The research involved sampling at 24 transects covering the entire shallow water margins of the lake, reaching depths up to 80 meters. In addition to generating maps illustrating the distribution of mussels and plants in the lake, the project will provide valuable insight into various ways in which exotic mussels influence other benthic (bottom-dwelling) organisms. This information is necessary to evaluate fully the long-term impacts on the Seneca Lake ecosystem.
The students conducted their research as part of the Hobart and William Smith summer research programs, with funds provided by grants from the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program and the Perkin Fund.
Werder, the daughter of John and Judy Werder of Springwater, N.Y., is a biology major with a minor in public policy. She is a member of Laurel Society, the honor society for juniors, and has served on Judicial Board and participated in Day of Service. Werder is spending the summer working at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate or professional school.
Costello, the son of Matthew and Frances Costello of Gasport, N.Y., is majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies. Costello is a Dean’s Scholar and has also participated in Day of Service and Orientation. This summer, Costello is working as an intern at the Roswell Cancer Center in Buffalo. His future plans include a career in medicine.
Professor Shelley came to Hobart and William Smith in 2000. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has conducted research on aquatic ecology of plants and benthic invertebrates in Costa Rica and the Northeastern United States.
Professor Ryan came to Hobart and William Smith in 1987 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and M.S. degree from the University of Michigan. His research has taken him to Ecuador, Trinidad, Madagascar, Ghana, and most recently to Uganda.