UOG graduate student studies algae at the University of Washington  

Grace Jackson, a University of Guam graduate biology student and Guam NSF EPSCoR graduate research assistant, gained research experience this summer through a course held at the Friday Harbor Laboratory at the University of Washington from June 11 to July 14, 2023.  

The class was called Marine Botany: Diversity and Ecology and covered classical and contemporary methods for identification, classification, and phylogenetic analysis of algae. Taught by Thomas Mumford, Ph.D., and D. Wilson Freshwater, Ph.D., the five-week course focused on the diversity of algae species found around San Juan Island.  

“I was interested in taking this class because I am studying crustose coralline algae for my thesis,” said Jackson, who is under the mentorship of UOG Professor of Marine Biology, Tom Schils. “I thought that learning about algae from a different ecosystem would give me a broader perspective and appreciation for the work I am doing in Guam.”  

Over the course of the program, Jackson explored the species-rich intertidal habitats around San Juan Island. She also worked on a research project that focused on identifying San Juan Island’s different species of crustose coralline algae, which are rock-hard calcareous red algae that can be found at intertidal rocky shores or coral reefs.  

“Forming my group and getting them excited about our topic and coaching them along the way taught me a lot about science communication,” said Jackson. “Writing the research report also fostered my writing skills. This whole experience has given me a greater appreciation for the work I have been doing in Guam. I can’t wait to get back in the lab and practice what I have learned.”

Skip to content