World Turtle News, 06/10/2018
Prestigious Recognition Granted To PhD Student For Chelonoidis Nigra DNA Research
Evelyn Jensen is a PhD in biology from the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Just recently receiving the PhD this past week, she concluded her education with a highly sought after and distinguished achievement for her incredible research project. She was awarded the Governor General Gold Medal for her DNA studies on Chelonoidis Nigra in the Galapagos islands. After traveling to the islands, she compared the genetics of the different tortoise generations in an effort to determine the modifications in the generations of specimens. Chelonoidis Nigra was nearly extinct on the Galapagos islands, but thanks to head-starting programs, they were brought back from their dangerous status and the population has rebounded. Jensen concluded through her data that genetic diversity was maintained even through the head start programs, which is encouraging news for conservationists, as this is a vital aspect of the conservation of these rare tortoises. Now studying the DNA of polar bears through a postdoctoral fellowship at Ontario’s Queen’s University, she continues to contribute massively to conservation efforts through her invaluable research skills and precise techniques.
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Photo from UBCO.