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Graduate Students Successfully Defend

Congratulations Kira Monell and Annie Kandel!

Kira net sampling
Kira taking zooplankton samples aboard the R/V Tiglax. Photo credit: Mette Kaufmann

Kira is a master’s student in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her thesis is titled “Characterization of Cell Division in the Tissues of the Calanoid Copepod, Neocalanus flemingeri from Diapause through Early Oogenesis.”

During the summer and fall 2019 NGA LTER cruises, Kira collected diapausing female copepods. She examined lipid content and cell division within the reproductive structures. Through Kira’s work, she discovered that Neocalanus flemingeri can stop diapause and begin creating egg cells within just twenty-four hours after being collected.


Initiation of oogenesis
From Kira’s thesis: cell division in the ovaries of a sub-Arctic copepod, Neocalanus flemingeri.  Fluorescent microscopy photo showing the start of egg cell creation. Blue cells are non-dividing cells of the ovary and red cells are dividing egg cells. The ov and white outline indicates where the ovary is, and the od shows the oviducts. (A) Females have not started egg cell creation three hours after collection. (B) Females have started creating egg cells twenty-four hours after being collected, as shown by the red cells in the ovary.


Annie filtering nutrients
Sampling the CTD: Annie filtering nutrient samples aboard the R/V Sikuliaq.

Annie Kandel is a master’s student through the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. For Annie’s thesis, titled “Spatial and temporal variability of dissolved aluminum and manganese in surface waters of the northern Gulf of Alaska,” Annie investigated the seasonal variability of dissolved aluminum and dissolved manganese in our study area. Annie derived data from the spring, summer, and fall NGA LTER cruises in 2018 and 2019.

Annie’s work showed that dissolved aluminum and manganese are trace metals that can be used as tracers of freshwater input in the NGA. This is because in this region, their main source is from rivers. Values for both metals are highest inshore, closer to the mouth of the Copper River, and decrease moving offshore.


Al and Mn concentrations in the Gulf of Alaska
Annie’s thesis data: surface concentrations of dissolved aluminum [Al] and dissolved manganese [Mn] during the summer 2019 Copper River plume study. Shown are 50 m, 100 m, and 250 m bathymetry contours.

Graduate Student Opportunities, 2019

Graduate Student Opportunities at UAF, Starting Fall 2019


credit: Mette Kaufman

The Northern Gulf of Alaska Long Term Ecological Research (NGA LTER) project announces multiple openings for graduate students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks that will begin Fall, 2019. Specialities include trace metal biogeochemistry, zooplankton ecology or physiology, and high latitude physical oceanography.

This project is part of the NGA LTER site. Therefore, student research will focus on the enhanced production and high environmental variability characteristic of the ocean shelf and slope regions of the NGA. This is a field intensive project with 3 yearly cruises from spring to fall. Projects will include fieldwork on UAF-operated R/V Sikuliaq and smaller regional vessels.

The student will be required to present work at international conferences, and to produce publishable manuscripts. Additionally, they join the national LTER network, with the opportunity of interactions with graduate students at other sites as a member of the LTER Graduate Student Committee. Collaboration with the interdisciplinary LTER research community is essential.

ASM poster session
An ASM poster session in full swing. Nearly 300 posters were presented over 2 sessions.
Credit: Kristen Weiss

Position Details

Applicants must have a strong background in oceanography and/or marine biology, chemistry, or physics, as well as strong written and oral communication skills. Experience participating in field research and/or working in laboratory is desirable. Members of groups under-represented in earth and environmental science are particularly encouraged to apply.

Positions include full stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver. Initial acceptance is typically at the Master’s level with possibilities to later expand into a Ph.D., or directly into a Ph.D. for those already at the M.S. level.

Application Deadline

CFOS logo

UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences provides application information. For Fall 2019 admission, UAF must receive applications for graduate admission with all supporting documentation, transcripts and test scores no later than June 1, 2019. Contact the appropriate faculty advisor (see below) before April 15, 2019 for more specific information.

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