2019 Doyle Fellows

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Chuck Basille, UNH ’20 Environmental Science

Mentor: Dr. Gabriela Bradt

Chuck Basile worked with the NH Green Crab Project during his Doyle Fellowship. Over the summer, he explored new techniques to increase soft-shell green crab production with a market development and growth component. His work involved visiting farmers markets with NH Community Seafood to increase consumer awareness of and demand for green crabs as a local, sustainable seafood ingredient. 

Elizabeth Martin, UNH ’20 Environmental Science

Mentor: Dr. Steve Jones

During Elizabeth Martin’s Doyle Fellowship, she helped Dr. Steve Jones with oyster sampling and monitoring for Vibrio bacteria and conducted a re-submergence study to observe the Vibrio parahaemolyticus growth when oysters are exposed to warm air temperatures. Elizabeth also looked at other bacteria called Halobacteriovorax that eat the Vibrio parahaemolyticus and could possibly be used to control the levels of V. parahaemolyticus in oysters.

V. parahaemolyticus is a naturally occurring bacteria that has some pathogenic strains that can cause food poisoning in humans. In order to monitor levels of V. parahaemolyticus in Great Bay, Elizabeth took monthly oyster, sediment, plankton, and water samples from two sampling locations, Oyster River and Nannie Island. The rest of the week was then spent processing these samples and testing for the Vibrio bacteria, which they identify using Polymerase Chain Reaction, also known as PCR.

Elizabeth also worked with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and spoke with a number of NH oyster farmers on Great Bay to understand their pre-harvest techniques, advised the farmers on best practice to avoid Vibrio based on their results. 

Throughout her fellowship, Elizabeth learned many new skills in microbiology, and also gained hands on experience and insight into the research process.

“It was really exciting to design my own research experiment that has the potential to help the oyster industry mediate the level of Vibrio bacteria in oysters, something I have never been able to do before. Overall this summer was a great learning experience and I am so thankful to be able to take part in research happening at UNH, especially on Great Bay”. 

Elizabeth, who is a member of UNH's Women's Ski Team, was featured by the UNH Athletics Department in their Wildcat Summer series. Watch the video below and read more about Elizabeth's fellowship experience

Taylor Merrick, Unity College ’20 Marine Biology

Mentor: Dr. Gabriela Bradt

Taylor Merrick worked on the NH Green Crab Project for her Doyle Fellowship to help create a monitoring program for green crabs and a fishery market for this invasive species. A new aspect to the project this year was whether or not temperature will have a role in the molting cycle of Green Crabs. The question we were trying to answer is if there is a certain temperature that will cause more crabs to molt. 

Taylor coordinated the Great Green Crab Hunts, which matched her interests in education and outreach, where she really felt in her element. She was also in charge of quadrat sampling, which aims to collect more in-depth data about what species and how many of them are in each location. A new challenge for Taylor was managing the Instagram page @nhgreencrabs, which she found very different from managing a personal social media account, but ultimately rewarding. 

“Through this fellowship, I gained skills in research, data collection, coordination, organization, and social media presence. I chose this internship to broaden my skills within my field and introduce myself to the research side of marine biology. I am very grateful that my role in this project incorporated both research and education/outreach. I think the most important thing I gained from this summer is that I have chosen the right direction for myself: education and outreach. The research aspect is definitely a great experience to have and I do enjoy it, however it has shown me that education is truly my passion.”

Maggie Phillips, UNH ’19 Environmental Science

Mentor: Mark Wiley

For her Doyle Fellowship, Maggie Phillips worked as a marine education intern. She developed marine science curricula, helped plan and market the 2019 National Marine Educators Association conference, and attended education and outreach events delivered by Sea Grant volunteers—the Marine Docents. These events include cruises with hands-on science, marine celebrations/festivals, and marine science field trips for middle school students. Maggie gained education experience by developing interactive lessons about the intertidal zone and collaborated with Sea Grant volunteers to create an online Seacoast Activities guide for conference attendees visiting the area for the first time this summer.

“All my experience has been on the research side of science, so it was really valuable to experience the outreach side—I found out that I love developing science curriculum! As a recent graduate, I have also benefitted so much from working alongside passionate Sea Grant staff and volunteers who give awesome career advice!”