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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Rapid Evolutionary Divergence of Sculpin in Bering Glacier Region, Alaska

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 09/01/2004
End Date 06/30/2005
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grants
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 07/05/2008 01:25AM


  Frank Von Hippel

Student Researchers
  Eric Sjoden


This project will evaluate evidence of rapid evolutionary divergence of sculpins (two species: Cottus asper and C. cognatus) in proglacial lakes based on morphological traits. The traits will be evaluated using facilities and instruments at UAA. The sculpins have already been collected (by Ms. Heidi Weigner and myself) from the Bering Glacier region of southeast Alaska during the summers of 2002, 2003, and 2004. The geologic dynamics of the region-- dictated by the Bering Glacier-- offer a unique opportunity to observe rapid evolution in fishes as it occurs. Evidence for the evolutionary divergence of the sculpins will be based on gill rakers, eye diameter, spine lengths and other morphological features. The project will be conducted under the direction of Dr. Frank von Hippel and be completed by the spring of 2005. The specific aim of this study is to correlate morphological characteristics to evolutionary divergence in a dynamic environment. Ultimately, if the project produces significant results (the nature of these results will be discussed in the Anticipated Results section), a paper will be submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Additionally, this project will serve to aid Ms. Heidi Weigner (a doctoral candidate who is also under the guidance of Dr. von Hippel) in her study of the evolution of threespine stickleback in the Bering Glacier region.

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