Profiles: Ali Sidun Taking an in depth look at predator-prey relations
December 14, 2016
Ali Sidun (’16) is an Environmental Science & Policy major, who, not coincidentally, enjoys spending time at the Corona Del Mar tide pools. In fact, this Hawaii native chose to attend Chapman University, in part, because it was as much like her home state without actually being Hawaii.
With the support of
the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA
), Ali was able to spend the summer researching the organisms that live in those tide pools. She participated in OURCA’s competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
, a ten-week intensive program during which undergraduates across academic fields and individual interests work side by side with faculty mentors. In addition to working on their own projects, SURF fellows attend bi-weekly lectures that expose them to other fields of study and to avenues for professional development.
The title of Ali’s summer-long research project was “Ocean Acidification and Predator-Prey Relations: Correlating disruption of predator avoidance with chemosensory deficits.” She picked her project based on, in her words, “where the knowledge gaps are and what interested me.” To fill those knowledge gaps, she studied hermit crabs learning that acidified water inhibits their ability to detect predators. By employing feeding treatments for the inner tidal organisms, Ali was able to gather “lots of exciting data” that can help “understanding how the future can affect an entire species.”
Post-SURF, Ali is continuing her experiments, gathering more data with hopes to create publishable work and present her findings at a conference this fall. She also just started pursuing her Master of the Environmental Science degree at the University of Colorado Boulder. Everyone at OURCA is looking forward to seeing what Ali does next!
If you’re a student interested in funding for your own research or creative project or if you’re a professor looking to mentor undergraduate students, head over
to OURCA’s site
to see all of our events and opportunities!