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Two NYC Students Discover a New Species of Sea Anenomes

Two NYC Students Discover a New Species of Sea Anenomes

Cherie and Sadie worked alongside scientists from the American Museum of Natural History to discover new sea anemones.

Cherie Qu of Bayside and Sadie Burke of Staten Island were featured as co-authors on a study published this week in American Museum Novitiates that detailed their work in discovering two new species of deep-sea anemones. Cherie, a high school senior, and Sadie, a Reed College freshman, worked alongside Drs. Luciana C. Gusmão and Estefania Rodriguez from the American Museum of Natural History. They conducted research last year as part of the Science Research Mentoring Program at the Museum of Natural History, which gives students the opportunity to be mentored by the museum’s scientists.

Scolanthus shrimp and Scolanthus celticus are previously undescribed species of burrowing anemones that live in the Whittard Canyon, a deep-see valley of the coast of Ireland. Sclanthus shrimp is named after the SRMP, where participating students are known as “srmpers.” Scolanthus celticus is named after the Celtic Explorer, the research vessel that collected anemone specimens in ocean depths of more than 3,000 feet. Dr. Gusmão, Cherie, and Sadie analyzed the morphology and genetics of each organism they collected to determine the two species had not been recognized before.

Students in the Science Research Mentoring Program must dedicate at least four hours per week to their projects and commit to the program for one year. According to the museum, research projects span the fields of cultural and biological anthropology, conservation science, evolutionary biology, genetics and genomics, taxonomy, systematics, earth and planetary science, and astrophysics. To qualify to apply, students must be on track to complete four American Museum of Natural History credits by the end of the year they apply for SRMP. These credits can be earned through Saltz, the museum’s after school program courses (at least one credit must be from an after school program), or Lang Research. Students must go to school and or live in the city. For more information on the program, visit the museum’s website.

Main Image: Courtesy American Museum of Natural History

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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