Georgia Southern student receives Best Undergraduate Student Presentation at the 2019 Benthic Ecology Meeting

Sarah Smith

Sarah Rogers presented her research on the effects of ocean acidification and was awarded first place and $200 cash for the Best Undergraduate Student Presentation at the 2019 Benthic Ecology meeting in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.

Rogers shared, “It was an honor but a surprise,” when she heard her name called for first place. “I definitely did not expect it.”

Rogers’s presentation, titled “The combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated sea temperature on the temperate coral Oculina arbuscula“, covered her research focusing on the effects of ocean acidification and the increasing temperature of coral along the coast of Georgia on marine organisms and the environment.

“Climate is definitely a hot topic and to me, this presentation was important so that I could contribute my part,” Rogers said.

Ocean acidification, the PH in the ocean becoming highly acidic, is caused by the oceans absorbing carbon dioxide, leading to global warming and harming animals.

Her research began during her studies for her thesis project for the GS honors program. Rogers was mentored by Dr. Daniel Gleason, marine biologist and Director of GS’ Institute of Coastal Plain Science, throughout her research.

“[Rogers] took charge and ran with it. She wasn’t in the lab long until I realized that she was very skilled,” Dr. Gleason said, regarding her research. “The presentation was not easy. She was always willing to put in extra work.”

Rogers was recently accepted into Georgia Tech’s Ocean Science and Engineering PHD program. She will graduate from GS with a Bachelor’s of Science in biology this May. Rogers plans to continue her research and education as a professor so she can teach the next generation of scientists.

Sarah Smith, The George-Anne Candidate,