Tanya Traeger is an undergraduate student in the department of Biology and an aspiring veterinarian. She happened across the Environmental Science Program, specifically the Fish Ecology Lab, when she was accepted to the department of Biology’s Fall Research Semester of 2016. Working directly with Kim de Mutsert and Casey Pehrson, Tanya has been studying a regime shift in the fish community and diet analysis at Gunston Cove, VA. Data collected from 2016 was compared to historical data from 1999 to illustrate the community shift. Additionally, Tanya collaborated with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD to perform DNA barcoding of fish stomach contents. Ultimately, the results from this project will provide a very specific insight into the diets of the fish in the cove. Hopefully, the study of the fish stomach contents will continue in the upcoming years to illustrate the response of the native fish to the invasive Blue Catfish and to the continued increase in water quality of the cove.
Katie is studying for her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology from George Mason University. She has an interest in both freshwater and marine ecosystems, particularly regarding species diversity and habitat suitability of aquatic ecosystems. While volunteering with the fish ecology lab, Katie has worked on sorting macro invertebrates from drop ring samples as well as dissecting fish specimens from Pohick and Accotink creek. She has also had the opportunity to work in the field to help collect these samples and other habitat analysis data.
Lauren is an Environmental Science student with academic interests including aquatic ecology in the freshwater, marine, and estuarine habitat as well as the evolution and conservation of herpetofaunal communities. She is an active volunteer in the Fisheries Ecology Laboratory and participates in field observation and collections on the tidal Potomac River. Post graduation she aspires to further engage in team-oriented research opportunities.
Maryam began volunteering in the fish ecology laboratory in 2014 after taking biodiversity with one of Dr. de Mutsert’s graduate students. Since then she has completed an independent study that looked at how the macroinvertebrate community is correlated with the aquatic vegetation in Gunston Cove, VA. Currently, she is doing a work-study with the lab that has further expanded her lab and field skills.
Logan is a senior Biology major with a Forensic Science minor. Logan plans on either going to medical school or becoming a crime lab technician or crime scene investigator for the FBI or CIA. He was a member of the wrestling team at GMU and enjoys reading, playing videogames, working out and going to the beach.