|Janaye Hanschu working on |
her first independent research project
as an undergraduate
|Janaye collecting samples for the Kansas River RAPIDS project|
After graduating in the fall of 2017, Janaye continued to work for Dr. Zeglin as a research assistant on another NSF research project titled: RAPIDS: Are biogeochemical responses linked to the microbial composition of a defined nutrient and microbial input to a large river? (DEB #1822960). This project involved a collaboration between the Zeglin Microbial Ecology Lab (KSU) and the Burgin Lab at the University of Kansas (KU). The Burgin Lab is led by Dr. Amy Burgin, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at KU; Environmental Studies Associate Scientist for the Kansas Biological Survey; and a MAPS Aquatics research team member. The RAPIDS project was designed to study nutrients in the Kansas River.
On November 16, 2018, Janaye presented a poster featuring her RAPIDS research at the MAPS All Science Meeting held at the Konza Prairie Biological Station. The title of her poster was “Do novel inputs to the Kansas River affect the water of sediment microbiome and water chemistry?” She explained her RAPIDS project as follows: “The city of Lawrence bought an old fertilizer plant. The plant contained several gallons of fertilizer dissolved in water. The city needed to dispose of the fertilizer. Initially, the city was selling the fertilizer to farmers to use for their crops. However, the execution was time consuming and a financial burden. As a result, the city got permission from the state and EPA to release the fertilized water into the Kansas River over a time frame of about two months. The release inoculates the water with both nitrogen (nutrients) and microorganisms. This novel input into the Kansas River lead to the question: Does microbial nitrogen processing in the river respond solely to changes in the nitrogen substrate supply, or does changing the microbial community also affect ecosystem-scale biochemistry. We sampled the river every two weeks (in addition to other sampling). At one time point, it was found that there is a microbial community composition (MCC) spike--an increase in microbial diversity--where the fertilizer was being released into the river. The overall MCC was returned to normal by 5 km downstream of the input site, but the microbial types unique to the input can be detected to at least 29 km. There were 23 unique bacterial OTUs in the water downstream of the input, but only 5 of these increased in relative abundance. As for the biochemistry and microbial relationship, for this specific time point, the microbial biochemical processes seem to be turning over the nutrient load at a sufficient rate because the chemical signals are weaker than the microbial signals.” And she said that although "this poster was done on a different grant ... the research was relevant to the MAPS project." While working on RAPIDS project, Janaye became “highly interested in linkages between MCC and biogeochemistry rates.”
|Janaye standing a Milford Tank,|
part of an experiment led by Dr. Ted Harris
in the summer of 2018 which will she will
continue this summer (2019).
Janaye is from McPherson, KS and is a first year EEB Master's student at the KU. As for her future plans, she hopes to continue a career in research and/or outreach.
Workforce Development, Education and Outreach funding for graduate assistantships is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas. The grant's workforce development and educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.