Dive Deeper awards

We are delighted to announce that we have awarded two Dive Deeper bursaries to Brit Finucci and Michelle Taylor.

Brit Finucci is from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and will be using the bursary to work alongside Clinton Duffy (Department of Conservation) and Tom Trnski (Auckland Museum). She will lead a project with the aim of re-cataloguing the museum’s chondrichthyan specimens, with a focus on the deep-sea species. Auckland museum currently holds representatives of 20 chondrichthyan families, many of which have not been assigned to the species level. From this work, Brit hopes to produce an up-to-date collection of deep-sea chondrichthyan taxa available for use by national and international researchers. In addition, there will be a publication of the updated museum collections in the Records of the Auckland museum and possibly publications of new species descriptions.

Michelle Taylor is from the Unviersity of Oxford, UK and will be using her bursary to collaborate with Dr Quattrini and Professor McFadden at Harvey Mudd College, USA, to learn the UCE (Ultra conserved elements probes) technique. Michelle will use this technique in the lab to create a robust phylogenomic tree of a deep-sea family of octocorals from the Antarctic. Using this she will pinpoint timings of species diversifications in climate history from these specimens and investigate what the Antarctic climate was doing at these times. This information is important for future considerations of climate alteration in this quickly changing ocean.

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