Amanda joined the Gratton lab (co-advised by Tony Ives) in September and will be working on a project trying to understand what causes the impressive population cycles of midges in Lake Myvatn, Iceland. Here is more about Amanda who recently completed her Masters from Loyola University Chicago.
Welcome Amanda! Where are you originally from?
Crown Point, IN
What was your past research about?
My previous research for my MS focused on anthropogenic impacts on urban streams in the Chicago area. Specifically, I researched point sources and concentration of microplastic contamination in streams and the effect of this novel substrate on aquatic bacterial community composition.
What will you be working on in the Gratton lab?
I am involved in the Lake Myvatn project which aims to understand what drives the high amplitude and irregular population cycles of midges in the lake and how these dynamics influence other components of the aquatic ecosystem and the surrounding terrestrial landscape. Broadly, I am interested in community trophic interactions and consumer-resource dynamics. I am interested in how the food quality for midges may be influenced by biotic and abiotic factors in the lake, and how food quality and quantity influence midge growth rates (and possible implications for population cycling and community dynamics).
Where can we find you when not at work?
I’ve enjoyed exploring various parts of Madison via running, and checking out the numerous restaurants, coffee shops, etc. And I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and two cats.
What are you looking forward to doing in Madison?
I really enjoy all of the outdoor activities available in Madison—and the beer and cheese!
What’s your favorite insect?
Out of loyalty to the study system, I will say Tanytarsus gracilentus