UVI Graduate Student Earns First Place Award at Research Conference
Shruti Arora, a second year graduate student in the University of
the Virgin Islands' Master of Marine and Environmental Science
program, was recently awarded first place in a scientific poster
competition at the 2011 Association of Marine Labs of the Caribbean
conference in Costa Rica.
Arora's winning poster is based on research that is critical to
increasing knowledge of how human activities on land may be
impacting the health of coral reef communities in the U.S. Virgin
Islands. Her research found that microbial communities that corals
of the same species host are distinctly different and less diverse
on corals located far from land-based sources of pollution.
Her poster, entitled: "Diversity of bacteria associated with
Montastraea spp. across a sea water quality gradient in
the U.S. Virgin Islands," won the Ivan Goodbody Student Achievement
Award for best student poster presentation.
"This was actually my first international conference throughout my
entire academic career," Arora said. "I have done other
presentations, but nothing like this."
Having earned baccalaureate and master's degrees in microbiology in
India, Arora enrolled in UVI's Master of Marine and Environmental
Science program to concentrate specifically on marine biology.
After graduation in December 2011, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. in
The Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC) is a
confederation of more than 30 marine research, education, and
resource management institutions. Each year, AMLC holds a
scientific meeting that is attended by researchers, resource
managers and educators working in the Caribbean and western
Atlantic. The 2011 meeting was held in San Juan, Costa Rica from
Arora's presentation at the conference is also the focus of her
master's thesis and was done under the supervision of Dr. Marilyn
Brandt at UVI's Center for Marine and Environmental Studies and in
collaboration with Dr. Pamela Morris at the University of South
For further information about UVI's Master of Marine and
Environmental Science program, please contact Dr. Brandt by e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org or by
telephone at (340) 693-1379.