The University of Guam Marine Laboratory has a new addition to its collection of murals — an assortment of giant clams (Tridacna maxima) in the office of UOG Assistant Professor Sarah Lemer.
The mural was painted by Constance Sartor, a University of Guam Master of Science in Biology. Sartor has been under the mentorship of Lemer since 2018 as part of the university’s Guam NSF EPSCoR Graduate Research Assistantship.
According to Sartor, Lemer wanted a mural in her new office that was related to the work being done in the Lemer Invertebrate Genomics Lab, which is studying various marine invertebrates to better understand how they response to climate change and reef degradation.
“I chose giant clams because I find them so naturally beautiful with their vibrant colors and different patterns — there are so many different phenotypes within a single species — so I thought they’d be perfect for her new lab,” said Sartor.
Sartor worked on the mural while Lemer was off-island, hoping to surprise her once she arrived back on Guam. The mural took 10 hours to complete.
“When I came back and saw the extent of what she did, it was fantastic,” said Lemer. “I’m really happy that I’ll always have this. Wherever she goes, I’ll always have this from her.”