Elizabeth Marhanka

OU Major: 
Biology
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Cameron Siler and Jessa Watters
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
I am an undergraduate research assistant in the Siler Lab at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The Siler Lab studies reptiles and amphibians, and makes up the herpetology department at the museum. My project consisted of surveying southeastern Oklahoma amphibians for a highly virulent fungus, commonly known as chytrid. This project is one of several that the lab is currently conducting to research the presence of this deadly emergent disease in regions across Oklahoma. The United States has a high diversity rate of amphibians in the world. Therefore, it's important to survey for the presence of chytrid to start conservation efforts to save Oklahoma's amphibians.
Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students: 
No matter what you want to do with your degree, I highly recommend research. Even if you aren't sure research is in your future, it's a great stepping stone if you are wanting to further your education beyond a bachelors degree. It's a great learning experience to help narrow down what your passions in life are. Additionally, a mentor can be almost as important as the research you conduct. A great mentor can open the door for your post-graduate career and give you priceless advice.
Published Work: 
n/a