COSAM News Articles 2022 May Microbiology major Yasmine Hall accepted into 2022 Dauphin Island Sea Lab Research Experience for Undergraduates Program

Microbiology major Yasmine Hall accepted into 2022 Dauphin Island Sea Lab Research Experience for Undergraduates Program

Published: 05/05/2022

By: Leslie Leak

Yasmine Hall, a rising sophomore majoring in microbiology with a pre-vet concentration, is planning for an enriching summer after learning of her acceptance into the 2022 Dauphin Island Sea Lab Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, or DISL REU Program, to be held May 30 to August 5 in Dauphin Island.

Funded by the National Science Foundation-Division of Ocean Sciences Research Experience for Undergraduates Program and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the DISL REU Program provides participants an opportunity to conduct an independent research project while working under the direction of a faculty mentor in a research laboratory setting.

Only a small number of undergraduates from across the country are accepted into the DISL REU program each summer, and Hall was elated to hear of her acceptance.

“I felt optimistic during the application process, and when I found out in March I had been accepted, I was so excited about this prestigious research opportunity,” said Hall. “I am originally from Dothan, but I’ve never been to Dauphin Island, so I’m looking forward to a hands-on learning experience in a new place.”

Participants in the DISL REU program get to work with resident faculty who focus on various cross disciplinary areas of research including oceanography, fisheries biology and aquaculture, marine ecology and ecosystems, toxicology and public health, biogeochemistry and modeling, marine mammal ecology, aquatic animal medicine and microbial ecology.

Specifically, Hall will be working with microbial ecologist Brandi Kiel Reese and aquatic mammal veterinarian Jennifer Bloodgood - a combination that fits well with her educational interests in microbiology and veterinary pathology.

During the summer program, participants will develop new skills and techniques in team and independent research, field and lab sampling, necropsy, molecular genomics and chemical analyses.

Additionally, the program will provide career development workshops that help participants gain experience with experimental design, data analysis and management, writing scientific papers, presentation skills and CV preparation.

“As a freshman, I’ve had some prior lab experience, but I think my participation in this summer program will really help me become more comfortable conducting research as I progress in my major at Auburn,” said Hall.

As a participant, Hall will get to take field trips along the Mobile Bay that will give her firsthand experience conducting research associated with dolphin microbiomes.

The DISL REU summer program will also be a beneficial step along Hall’s career path in veterinary pathology.

“Since the age of eight, I have wanted to be a veterinarian and am now considering veterinary pathology,” said Hall. “This summer, through working at DISL, I’ll gain further hands-on experience in both veterinary and microbial science.”

Hall advises undergraduates who may be interested in REU opportunities to showcase their academic accomplishments and student involvement during the application process.

“My advice when applying to REU programs is to really allow yourself to shine and use this as an opportunity to talk about your capabilities and how you stand apart from the rest,” said Hall. “In my application process, I highlighted my current experience in the US Army Reserves. I also explained how I would use the DISL REU experience moving forward as a beneficial component of my educational and career goals.”

Rising sophomore, junior or senior undergraduates with interests in ecology, biology, chemistry, geology, biomedicine or physical and environmental sciences can apply to the DISL REU program. For more information on this program, please visit the DISL REU website.


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