The Powers Lab has three new research students for the coming year. This has been our most challenging year for funding students requiring an unusual amount of creativity! Emma Bloomquist, a junior biology major and member of the Honors Program at GFU was funded in the traditional way, through our Richter Scholar Program. Emma will be headed to Dr. Bret Tobalske’s lab at the University of Montana to conduct experiments to determine if hummingbirds can sufficiently disputed heat via evaporative water loss to maintain heat balance during hovering.
Isabelle Cisneros, a junior biology major, had perhaps the most creative path to funding for the coming year raising her support via crowd sourcing on the Experiment.com platform. Probably the best thing about this effort and its success was that the majority of our backers were former Powers Lab research students! This is a reaffirmation that the work we do in the lab makes a difference in student lives. Isabelle will travel to the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona where she will use infrared thermography to determine if hummingbirds can use shallow torpor (hypothermia). She will work closely with Anusha Shankar, a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook University who has worked with our lab for several years on torpor studies. For complete details on Isabelle’s project see our Experiment.com page!
The final student to join the lab is sophomore biology major Kaheela Reid. Kaheela was funded this year by the GFU diversity program. This is the first time the diversity program has invested funds in this sort of thing, and we look forward to a successful year so that the program will continue to consider this type of investment. Kaheela will travel to Arizona along with Isabelle where her core project will be an investigation of how evaporative water loss influences resting metabolic rate in hummingbirds.