Two students from the University of Guam presented their research at the 27th NSF EPSCoR National Conference which was held in Portland, Maine from November 13 – 16, 2022.
This year’s conference theme was “Translating Stakeholder Needs Into Impactful Research Outcomes.”
The event engaged audiences from various sectors, disciplines, and jurisdictions – including state legislators, congressional representatives, as well as EPSCoR committees, scientists, and faculty members.
During the conference, students had the opportunity to interact with peers, and attend workshops and discussions.
UOG undergraduate biomedical track major Zaine Benavente along with graduate biology student MacKenzie Heagy presented posters of their research projects.
Benavente, who is part of the 2022 Student Research Experience program, presented his project, “Genetic barcoding of cryptic massive Porites species in Guam’s reef flats.”
“This was my first time presenting at an off-island conference,” said Benavente. “I didn’t know what I was saying yes to, so it was a big surprise! I didn’t know it was such a small group going. I was the only undergraduate student from Guam at the conference. It was a little intimidating, but I got through it and presented my work.”
Heagy, a Guam NSF EPSCoR Graduate Research Assistant, presented her project, entitled, “Coralline Algal Phylogenetics to Better Assess Coral Reef Biodiversity.”
“I talked about Guam’s vastly diverse marine flora and how my group of interest, Genus Mastophora, is a representation of the many species that have yet to be discovered of the crustose coralline algae,” said Heagy.
Heagy said that she appreciated the opportunity to talk about the research being done at the University of Guam.
“It was a privilege to represent some work being produced at the UOG Marine Laboratory while learning about the incredible science EPSCoR has encouraged across the country,” said Heagy. “Facilitating strong research from young scientists, EPSCoR projects ranged from virtual reality fire-wise properties to 3D in vitro models for breast cancer research.”