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Flagler student presents scientific research at NERR conference

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Daphne Pariser

Daphne Pariser presented her scientific research at the GTM-NERR State of the Reserve conference on February 1.

March 18, 2013

Flagler student Daphne Pariser presented her scientific research at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s (GTM-NERR) State of the Reserve conference on February 1.

This is the first year that the GTM-NERR invited Flagler College faculty and students to present their research findings.

Along with Terri Seron, associate professor of environmental science, Pariser evaluated protein expression in fish and crabs regarding stress levels. The two have been working on this research since the fall semester and were able to conclude that fish are highly adaptive to their estuarine habitats.

Pariser got involved in the project with Dr. Seron because of her interest in molecular biology.

“I wanted to become more educated in terms of molecular research,” she said. “Dr. Seron had been wanting to work on it for a few years, so it was a good opportunity for both of us to work together.”

As a psychology major and environmental science minor, Pariser has studied stress patterns and development in depth for some time. Last summer, she was lucky enough to work at New York University under Liz Phelps, one of the leading neuroscientists in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder research.

Pariser said she was excited to be given the opportunity to speak about her findings and development at the conference.

“Everyone was really receptive and seemed pleased with the information,” she said. “In the future, we hope to better document what sort of stress proteins are present in Blue crabs.”

This semester, the pair are taking their research one step further. They will introduce American alligators to blue crabs in order to view stress proteins due to predation stress. Seron and Pariser will team up with the GTM-NERR and James Nifong from University of Florida to conduct this extensive research.

After graduation, Pariser hopes to work in a toxicology or molecular biology lab in Sweden until she enrolls in graduate school.

“To me, nothing really makes sense without science,” she said. “The more I question the world, the more I find scientific explanations. It’s like cogs and gears.”


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