TROY Marine Science student spends summer learning at Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Posted: Monday, 19 September 2011

TROY-Troy University student Martha "GG" Perry always knew she wanted to study biology. What she didn't know is that her studies would lead her to spending days examining microscopic sea creatures and long-lining sharks.

But, Perry wouldn't have it any other way.

"There's always something new and exciting coming up," said Perry, a marine biology major from Demopolis, after spending her summer working as one of the NOAA NGI Diversity interns for the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL).

Perry worked under an established marine scientist at the Fisheries Oceanography of Coastal Alabama (FOCAL) Lab in Dauphin Island.

Along with eight other students, Perry lived at the DISL and spent her days studying larva fish and fish eggs and sending samples to Poland for DNA analysis. In addition, Perry went on several boat trips to get samples for the lab.

"It was a short period of time, but the boat trips along with the lab gave me good hands on experience," she said.

Perry's specific study interests are parasitology, but she said the experience gave her an overall idea of what her future career will entail.

"It gave me a chromosome to analyze things that are wrong, and the lab work gave me an overview of how diverse the species in the water are," she said.

Perry's interest in marine biology was sparked while studying at TROY under Dr. Steve Landers, a professor who specializes in the field. Perry currently works under Landers, who has received BP grant money to research marine life before and after the BP Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Perry is expected to graduate next summer.

Sullivan Award

Troy University student Martha "GG" Perry, a marine biology major from Demopolis, handles a barracuda caught for research at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Perry and eight other students lived and worked at the Sea Lab as part of a summer internship. (TROY photo)