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Guam Sea Grant Fellowships Support Sustainable Coastal Development Research

Five Master’s students receive Thesis Supplemental Grants

The University of Guam Sea Grant program recently awarded five Master’s Thesis Supplemental Grant Fellowships for student research.  
Graduate students Andres Reyes, Devin Resko, Valeri Lapecek, Adrian Kense and Jacques Idechong were selected. The grants focus on research for areas of development in coastal communities. The students will receive between $6,000 and $12,000. 
“The fellowship program gives students the chance to increase the impact of their research,” UOG Sea Grant Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Biggs. “The program also helps bring students into the graduate science programs at UOG.”
This is the second year UOG Sea Grant has offered the fellowship program. Last year graduate student Travis Reynolds used the fellowship funds to expand the scope of his coral bleaching research.  His work will help create a model that will assist natural resource managers as they make decisions affecting coral reefs. To date, the fellowship program has provided $52,000 in funding for graduate students.
Andres Reyes will study enzymes in rabbitfish, or Siganus spinus. He will focus on the enzymes that help the fish metabolize and clear different chemicals.
Devin Resko will be studying sharks and their movements in Guam’s near shore waters. His research will focus on the type of habitat and movement patterns of local coastal shark populations in Guam. This includes hammerhead sharks and black tip reef sharks.
Valeri Lapecek is studying the coral Acropora. She is working on figuring out the seasonality of reproductive timing to see if the coral is spawning successfully. She is also trying to learn more about the DNA of the corals and identify different coral animals on a genetic level. 
Adrian Kense is looking at different types of algae found near Guam and using new technology to map the DNA sequences. He will also be looking at things that affect the algae like pH and wave action.
Jacques Idechong will be researching the role of marine protected areas in fishery management. He will be looking at different indicators like coral diversity, ecosystem complexity and what types of fish species are found in the marine protected areas.
Visit the Guam Sea Grant website for more information.

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