From Sea Birds to Perfect Numbers
Ants and archaeology. Storm petrels and perfect numbers. Kenyon students are researching an extraordinarily wide range of topics this summer as part of the Summer Science Scholars program. Working closely with professors--in the lab and the field--the students tackle ambitious projects, going from the planning stage, through data-gathering and experimentation, to the preparation of results for publication or presentation.
This year, 32 students are participating in Summer Science, pursuing research in anthropology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and psychology. Each receives a fellowship award of $3,000. Each, moreover, has the experience of "doing" science at the professional level, confronting unknowns, finding answers.
* Elena Fernandez, Class of 2008, is working to find a more effective way to synthesize organic compounds with the amine functional group.
* Will Stanton, Class of 2008, is studying the mathematical concept of "perfect numbers."
* Lina Moe, Class of 2007, is investigating telomere maintenance in Leach's Storm Petrel, a long-lived sea bird, as part of a National Science Foundation project that could have applications in cancer research.
* Joel Beckett, Class of 2008, is studying genetic diversification in butterflies and ants that are obligatorily dependent on one another. Beckett's research will take him to Australia, the home of these insects, this winter.
* Erlend Johnson, Class of 2007, is analyzing archaeological data from El Cafetal, Honduras, in a project that grew out of his fieldwork in the Kenyon-Honduras Program last semester.
* And Josh Zhang, Class of 2007, is studying malaria at the Walter Eliza Hall Medical Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. His research involves the invasion mechanism used by the Plasmodium falciparum, the protozoan responsible for the deadliest cases of malaria worldwide.