Awardee: Benjamin Ha
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Bio: Benjamin Hà is a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Dr. Dave Jacobs’ lab. He is also an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a CIRTL Scholar. His dissertation research is to assess the population genetics and adaptive differences between populations of the federally endangered tidewater goby, an endemic fish that inhabits lagoons along the California coast. His general research interests are to understand how anthropogenic factors impact the genetics of marine populations and communities, and how research may be applied to inform marine conservation and policy. Benjamin has a B.A. in English and American Literature from New York University and pursued post-baccalaureate studies to change careers to marine biology.
Project Summary: This study will be the first to examine the exomes of tidewater goby populations. Identifying the population structure at the genetic level will provide a fundamental baseline as to how various tidewater goby populations compare to one another. These results can then be shared with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to better inform conservation management approaches for the endangered tidewater gobies.