Michelle Penrod

OU Major: 
Biology
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Cameron Siler
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
Microsatellites are regions of DNA with multiple repeats of base pairs. Because these are noncoding regions of DNA, mutations are common and the number of repeats at a locus is variable within a population. Individuals with similar numbers of repeats are more closely related than individuals with dissimilar numbers of repeats. This quality of microsatellites makes them useful for population genetics studies. Microsatalite data can be used to analyze how geographic barriers and isolation affect genetic diversity. Our goal for this project is to determine how ecological factors are driving divergence in populations from varying ecoregions of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is an extremely diverse state with varying temperature, rainfall, and terrain. Throughout this study, we hope to observe how populations living in different ecoregions differ genetically.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Penrod, M. (2016, April). Microsatellite study of Acris Blanchardi throughout Oklahoma. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.