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COSAM Graduation Marshal Morgan Jones Wants to Use Science to Change People’s Lives

Published: 07/30/2019

By: Maria Gebhardt

Video by: Phillip Coxwell

“I want to use science to change people’s lives,” explained Morgan Jones, the 2019 Summer Graduation Marshal for the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM).

This organismal biology major has focused her education on ecology, evolution, and behavior.

“I am so excited to use what I have learned here in COSAM to conduct further research on the impacts of epigenetic modifications on human metabolism,” she added.

During her time at COSAM, Morgan was able to take a wide array of courses to learn about different organisms, giving her a solid foundation in biodiversity.

“Two professors that have profoundly impacted my life, who I am, and where I am going are Dr. Anthony Moss and Dr. Jack Feminella.”

In the lab of Dr. Moss, Morgan took conducted research.

“Morgan is a very self-directed, very bright and very pleasant and engaging young woman,” explained Dr. Anthony Moss, associate professor and marine program coordinator in the Department of Biological Sciences. “She has been a wonderfully supportive member of my lab for the last two years and I’m really lucky to have known her. She is going on to graduate work and I know that she’ll go on to do great things. I’ll really miss her!”

Currently, Morgan is working on a conservation-based research project about noise pollution. She is cranking up a sine wave generator to note the effects of sound on the behavior of a gelatinous marine creature, Ctenophora, in a tank. With this, she and her lab mate are interested in uncovering whether or not even these small organisms are being impacted by seemingly harmless human disturbances, like the noise made near shipping docks.

When she found out she was the graduation marshal, she knew that this was a big accomplishment to represent COSAM students at the summer commencement ceremony.

“I called my mom immediately,” Morgan said. “My parents are my best friends. They were the first people that I wanted to tell. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am without their support.”

Morgan also has an expressive, creative side.

“I always make time to go for a long run, and do anything crafty when I can. I love to paint and make clay beads for jewelry,” she shared. “It is extremely cathartic to have an artistic outlet, even for scientists.”

After graduation, Morgan will begin graduate school and looks forward to conducting research.

“My dream goal is to be a scientist,” Morgan said. “I would love to spend the rest of my life doing research. I have been so incredibly blessed, and I cannot wait to use the knowledge and opportunity I have been given to give back to others.”

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