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Meet CUNY Undergraduate Researchers – Annakarina Marinos

September 12, 2011

Comparative analysis of chronometric structures using striped killifish, Fundulus majalis, as a model organism

Since she saw her first nature show on TV when she was five years old, Annakarina Marinos’s passion and interest in the natural world has grown with each
passing day. The Environmental Science department at Queens College, in which she is a rising junior, has cultivated and channeled this passion. Annakarina’s experience as a voluntary research aide in a marine geochemistry laboratory sparked a particular interest in coastal and estuarine ecology. Her C-SURP research experience with Professor Gregory O’Mullan at Queens College has solidified her commitment to a career as a researcher in the field of conservation ecology.

In Dr. O’Mullans lab, AnnaKarina was given the freedom to conduct her own research project. Determining the age of fish is a critical facet of sustainable fisheries management. In her study, Annakarina removed otoliths (a structural feature of the inner ear) and scales of striped killifish (Fundulus majalis) caught in the Great South Bay. She compared these two chronometric structures to determine the age of the fish. Scale regeneration is suggested as a reason why scale measures underestimated age in 60% of the fish. She concluded that further research is needed into methods for identifying regenerated scales. Annakarina claims that the C-SURP experience has been a turning point in her life, and that she fully intends to pursue a doctorate and a career in research.