I have been fortunate in my research career in that I have had diverse research experiences which made me a well-rounded researcher, proficient in many necessary skills, and desire to lead a varied research program. I have led several undergraduates through the process of scientific research, developing different projects with them. These have consisted of: (a) looking at the influence of deep water algae layers on benthic invertebrate distribution in stratified lakes; (b) using compound-specific stable isotope analysis to reveal the complexities of lake food webs; and (c) investigating the correlation between the amount of microplastics available in an invertebrate’s environment and the amount ingested by the organism by developing an optimized enzymatic digestion protocol utilizing Chitinase and Proteinase-K enzymes. In my own research, I have looked at mate preferences associated with MHC alleles in the sailfin molly as an undergraduate at Ohio Wesleyan University, delved into short and long-term temporal analyses of river food webs as a graduate student at KU, and participated in a project focusing on hierarchical functioning of river macrosystems in temperate ecosystems as a post-doc on an NSF project. I want to expand my focus in my future research endeavors, combining my knowledge of next-generation sequencing, as well as my ability in mapping food webs with compound-specific stable isotope techniques, and look at gut microbiome of aquatic organisms to determine what if any influence they have on the assimilation of food in food webs.

Click on any of the projects below to learn more about them!

Rachel E. Bowes_Research Statement