Mildred Kelokelo Thesis Proposal

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Mildred Kelokelo


Bachelors of Science in Fisheries and Marine Resources, Papua New Guinea University of Natural Resources and Environment, 2014
Thesis: “Sexuality and Reproductive Cycle of the Arc-eye Hawkfish, Paracirrhites arcatus (Cirrhitidae)”

Mildred’s work will compare patterns of sexuality, gonad structure and maturity, and reproduction.  This work will compliment previous studies on other members of the family, geographic variation, reproductive behavior and phylogeny.


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Guam EPSCOR is a 5-year, $6 million grant to the University of Guam from the National Science Foundation. The program aims to develop a Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium to ensure the sustainability of coral reef ecosystems in the face of environmental change. Guam EPSCoR aims to situate Guam as a premier research and STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education hub bolstering sustainability, economic development, and informed decision-making by engaging communities in 21st-century science.

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In addition to its research goals, Guam EPSCoR seeks to increase the number and diversity of students who choose STEM careers by engaging students in its Summer Research Experience (SRE) Program. The SRE program is a six-week program open to select undergraduate students seeking research opportunities this summer. Student research training and tasks may include field work to investigate coral reefs or to deploy and retrieve oceanographic instruments, as well as work in the University of Guam Marine Laboratory’s Molecular Lab. Selected students will learn about DNA extraction and sequencing and/or how to readout and analyze data to characterize marine environments. Ideal candidates are self-motivated, well organized, and have basic training or experience in lab procedures and microscopy.

The University of Guam and Research Corporation of the University of Guam are Equal Opportunity Employers that have received NSF funding to broaden the participation of underrepresented students in STEM fields. As such, the SRE Program remains open to all qualified students, but women, minorities, and students with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen and/or permanent resident of Guam
  • Undergraduate student in good academic standing
  • Available 8AM – 5PM between June 11 – July 20, 2018, and flexibility to work some nights and weekends


  • Research experience
  • Faculty/Researcher mentoring
  • $2500 stipend
  • Possible travel opportunities
  • On-campus housing and up to $1500 travel reimbursement for off-island participants


  1. Drop off this application and transcript to:
    Guam EPSCoR Office, University of Guam, Dean Circle House #4
    Office Hours 8AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday
  2. Or, you can email documents to Mellani Lubuag at
    PDF format only.

DUE DATE: February 28, 2018 by 5:00PM

Mellani Lubuag, Program Manager  /  (671) 735-0301/09

Frank Camacho Roberto Thesis Proposal

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fcr gineftao proposal flyer jan2018 updated

Frank Roberto


Frank is working to adapt modern aquaculture techniques to rear and spawn the scribbled rabbitfish in order to explore its feasibility as an aquaculture product for purposes of stock enhancement. The scribbled rabbit fish is culturally and ecologically important to the island and stock enhancement would aid in perpetuating indigenous fishing practice of harvesting manahak (juvenile S. spinus). Data from this project could help establish hatcheries and initiate restocking programs.

UOG Faculty Share Cutting-Edge Genetic Research Approaches in Hong Kong


University of Guam Marine Laboratory (UOGML) faculty and Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium (GEC) Researchers, Dr. Sarah Lemer and Dr. David Combosch recently presented at the University of Hong Kong’s Swire Institute of Marine Science about their ongoing efforts to characterize the bleaching resilience of Guam’s reef corals. 

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Held on October 16, 2017 and organized by Dr. Dave Baker at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Biological Sciences, the special guest seminar focused on Drs. Combosch and Lemer’s participation in the GEC and their scientific approaches to exploring the complex question of coral resiliency to environmental stress. Drs. Combosch and Lemer discussed their approach of implementing a combination of research strategies that includes fieldwork, molecular species differentiation, phylogenomics, population genomics, and experimental gene expression assays.
“We’re using cutting-edge genomic tools and we’re asking questions that have not been asked here before,” said Dr. Lemer. “With our newly implemented genomic facility, we are now able to do everything on island, from sample collection, data generation and analyses. Also, we enable students and our colleagues at the UOG Marine Laboratory to use those tools and approaches for their own work.”

“The questions that we’re asking are highly relevant and urgently required for local conservation and management,” said Dr. Combosch. “For example, we study the dispersal scales of marine organisms, which has important implications for the resilience of local populations and ecosystems and their ability to recover after disturbances, which is fundamental for an informed design of marine protected areas.”

The GEC was formed in 2015 in the aftermath of the island experiencing its largest coral bleaching event in 2013. At the time researchers had noted a difference in bleaching susceptibility among the affected coral species and populations. Today GEC Researchers seek to understand what accounts for the differences observed by studying the genetics of coral species around Guam. This insight will inform local, regional, and global conservation efforts and coral research and is made possible through the University of Guam’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, a $6 million grant award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

UOG Students and Faculty Attend Nation’s Largest Multi-Cultural Science Conference

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UOG delegation of students and faculty at 2017 SACNAS-The National Diversity in STEM Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah along with SACNAS Executive Director Dr. Antonia Franco (center left) and SACNAS President Dr. Lino Gonzalez (center right)

University of Guam students and faculty returned this week from 2017 SACNAS – The National Diversity in STEM Conference, one of the largest and most diverse gatherings in the U.S. for underrepresented minority students and professionals in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The 44th annual conference hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) was attended by nearly 4,000 students and professionals from October 19-21 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Joseph Casila, a UOG undergraduate student in the College of Natural & Applied Sciences (pictured right with his winning scientific poster), plans to pursue a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. Casila won an award for the best research poster in the Life sciences/Genetics category. He said, “winning at the SACNAS conference was confirmation that my training at UOG is preparing me for a successful career in science.” He added that the conference, “had endless resources and people willing to reach out and help you succeed.”

UOG was recognized at the conference for establishing one of the newest SACNAS Chapters to bring science to local communities through educational outreach events and scientific symposia year-round. UOG SACNAS Chapter Advisor, Dr. Austin Shelton, said “exposing and connecting our students to a national network of leading scientific organizations and mentors opens a wide door to STEM opportunities.” Dr. Shelton shared that the students represented Guam well, and, “they came away with an understanding of what it takes to get doctoral degrees and to eventually become leaders in science and technology careers.”    

Travel funding for the UOG delegation of 11 attendees was provided by the National Science Foundation-funded Guam Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) at UOG, the UOG College of Natural & Applied Sciences, SACNAS, the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard, and University of Hawaii Hilo PIPES. 

Guam EPSCoR’s Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium Seed Funding

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For: Guam EPSCoR’s Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium Seed Funding

Submission Deadline: November 5, 2017
 Guam EPSCoR’s Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium is seeking proposals from junior and newly recruited research faculty for seed funding opportunities for 2017-2018. Guam EPSCoR seed funding will include experimental project costs for collaborative projects in the areas of oceanography, coral genetics, bioinformatics, genomics, and Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), and can include support for travel for training or support that is directly linked to the implementation of research and/or advancing the competitive nature of proposed EPSCoR goals. Funding for travel to scientific meetings is acceptable if the researcher is presenting EPSCoR related research. Competitive seed funding proposals should outline how the proposed work clearly advances the research areas listed above as it is related to Guam EPSCoR strategic goals.

Multiple seed funding awards of up to $10,000 will be awarded to researchers that have submitted a proposal in areas related to Guam EPSCoR research goals. Successful proposals will be selected based on the research quality and on the demonstrated potential to achieve significant results that lead to peer reviewed publications and future grant proposals. Funded proposals are expected to be completed by July 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted or advised. 

Applicants should submit a one page proposal, timeline for planning and research, and budget breakdown no later than November 5, 2017. 
Proposals should be submitted to

For more information you may visit or contact:

Dr. Terry Donaldson, Guam EPSCoR PI/PD

Mellani Lubuag, Guam EPSCoR Program Manager

Alisha Gill Thesis Proposal

alisha gill thesis proposal flyer
alisha gill thesis proposal flyer

Alisha Gill


Alisha’s study will consider differential rates of egg predation from and courtship interruption by planktivirous damselfishes. Damselfish densities are greater at the spawning aggregation site compared to the haremic mating sites because of fish feeding by snorkelers and divers, so egg predation rates and reproductive success are expected to differ. Possible compensation at spawning aggregation sites because of increased mating opportunities may offset egg loss and courtship interruption effects.

National Science Foundation Awards University of Guam $300K

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The University of Guam (UOG) was awarded $299,976 from the National Science Foundation to conduct the NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilot project, GROWING STEM. The project will address the grand challenge of increasing Native Pacific Islander representation in the nation’s STEM enterprise, particularly in environmental sciences. Culturally-relevant and place-based research will be used as the framework to attract, engage, and retain Native Pacific Islander students in STEM disciplines. The full science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathway will be addressed from K-12 to graduate studies with partnerships that include the Guam Department of Education, Humåtak Community Foundation, the Pacific Post-Secondary Education Council, the Guam Science and Discovery Society, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. 

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The GROWING STEM project will be led by the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, UOG Sea Grant Program and the Guam EPSCoR Program. Dr. John Peterson (pictured left), Dr. Austin Shelton, Else Demeulenaere and Dr. Cheryl Sangueza will serve as lead investigators. Pilot activities include summer internships for high school students, undergraduate and graduate research opportunities through UOG’s GROW Plant Nursery and the Humåtak Community Foundation Heritage House. STEM professional development activities will be offered through conference participation and student research presentations in venues such as the Guam Island Wide Science Fair, UOG Island Sustainability Conference and the SACNAS National Conference. UOG School of Education Faculty and UOG TRiO Programs will lead the development of a mentoring protocol for the project participants. Community outreach activities will expand public understanding in environmental sciences from the GROWING STEM project. 

“This grant is a great example of the University of Guam’s impact on our island and its important role in developing future local professionals and problem solvers.”

UOG President Robert Underwood

“We have an exciting opportunity to put our local students on a pathway to attain doctoral degrees in science. Everything is centered around practical scientific research experiences aimed at improving the health of our land and ocean.”

Dr. Austin Shelton, co-Principal Investigator
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