The winner of the Student Spotlight Competition was Alexis Bergman from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her talk was about "Cultivation of white worms Enchytraeus albidus using low- or no-cost feed resources." Alexis is currently working on a Master's degree under the direction of Drs. Jesse Trushenski and Michael Schwarz that focuses on optimization of rearing techniquesfor clownfish and similar marine ornamentals with live diets and diet enrichment.
Second place was awarded to Melissa Pierce, a Ph.D. student inOceanography at the University of Connecticut, for her presentation titled, "The blue mussel and the eastern oyster: A tale of two gut microbiomes." Melissa's research, with advisor Dr. Evan Ward, is centered on the dynamic interactions between microbial communities and commercially important bivalves.
Third place in the Student Spotlight Competition went to Christopher Mealey for his presentation titled "Assessing the geneticimpacts of stock enhancement of red drum Sciaenops ocellatus on the wild population in South Carolina using estimates of genetic diversity." Christopher is working on a Master's degree in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston under the direction of Dr. Michael Denson.