AMS Student Research Fellowships


The AMS Student Research Fellowship funds are designated for summer support of research projects involving microscopy. Two fellowships of $1000 each are available. The funds may be used for summer support of any research project involving microscopy. Any undergraduate or graduate student member of AMS* is eligible to apply, with the exception of past fellowship recipients. Applications from undergraduates and those from graduates are assessed independently.

*Student AMS memberships are $20–35 per year reflecting online or print subscription to Invertebrate Biology

Summer 2018

Online Application form open soon for AMS Student Research Fellowships are open for summer 2018!

Deadline: March 16, 2018

See below for the description of the proposals and a list of past recipients of these awards.

The proposal should consist of the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae and a short summary of the research project; this should be a maximum of 3 pages, double-spaced, 11 pt type minimum. There should be a separate budget page explaining how the funds will be used and detailing any current support of the project. The proposal should be accompanied by a supporting letter from the applicant’s research adviser.

APPLICATION: Applications should be submitted at:

Direct questions to Dr. Shanna Hanes, AMS Fellowship Committee,

Guidelines for AMS Fellowship Proposals

A successful proposal will include the following: a brief CV of the applicant; description of the project - introduction, objectives, methodology, expected significance of results and literature cited; and a well-justified budget. Funds can be used for supplies, use of equipment, and travel to field sites. However, travel to meetings and publication costs are not supported.

The role of microscopy will be a major component of proposal evaluation. Provide concise details of the microscopic approaches to be taken in the proposed research and show their appropriateness to the objectives of the project. If the microscopy research for which you are requesting funding is part of a broader thesis or dissertation topic, you should write your proposal only for the microscopy portion of the research. The proposal to AMS can be linked to your broader research objectives via the introduction and significance of results sections.

If you have preliminary results or evidence that support the likelihood of the project’s success these should be noted.

2015 Recipients

Tania Pineda Enriquez, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Biology
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida, Gainesvill, FL 32611
Project title: Hiding in plain sight: cryptic species in brittle stars of the Indo-Pacific region

Tania Pineda-Enriquez is a PhD candidate at University of Florida, Department of Biology, Florida Museum of Natural History. Tania’s research aims to understand the Ophiuroidea (brittle stars), where recent phylogenies have shown that the majority of the larger groups are polyphyletic or paraphyletic. Her AMS fellowship will supported an investigation of cryptic species in brittle stars of the Indo-Pacific region. Tania has hypothesized that evolutionary transitions in the Ophiolepididae from tropical to temperate and from shallow to deep are more prevalent than the opposite. She is using a combined morphological and molecular phylogeny. All the microstructure needs will be examined with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).

Krstin Kopperud, Ph.D. Candidate
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Project title: Circadian rhythms of the Atlantic tarpon, Megalops atlanticus: a microscopic analysis of light, dark and survival in the silver king.

Kristin Kopperud is a PhD candidate at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL.  Her research aims to understand the effects of light at night on biological clock function in an ecologically and economically important marine fish, the Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus). Her AMS fellowship supported an investigation of circadian rhythms of the Atlantic tarpon using a microscopic analysis of light, dark and survival. Kristin studies clock-driven repositioning of rod and cone photoreceptors according to time of day. Using immunofluorescence (IF) with opsinspecific primary antibodies, she compares these rhythms in fish reared under a light-dark cycle (LD, control); constant darkness (DD); and two treatments simulating light pollution—constant light and a 4-hr advance of light onset—to investigate how “light at night” affects biological clock function.

2014 Recipients

Shelley McLarty, M.Sc. Candidate
Department of Biological Sciences
Walla Walla University
204 South College Avenue,
College Place, WA 99324
Project title: Microscopic analysis of photosynthetic gut content in Pentidotea resecata.

Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Ph.D. Candidate
Queen’s University Marine Laboratory
12-13 The Strand, Portoferry, Co. Down
Northern Ireland, BT22 IPF
Project title: A microanatomical study of the eyes of Ophiocoma wendtii

2013 Recipients

Nikia Rice, M.Sc. Candidate
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Project title: Photoreceptor distribution of the Green sea turtle throughout development stages.

Des Ramirez, Ph.D. Candidate
University of California, Santa Barbara
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
Santa Barbara, CA 93107
Project title: Quantifying dispersion of dermal opsin-expressing sensory neurons in two Octopus species

2012 Recipients

Vladimir Gross
University of Massachusetts at Lowell
Project title: Comparative myoanatomy of the Tardigrada

Trisha Spanbauer
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Project title: The relation of climatic forcing to the morphological variability of a dominant phytoplankton species in the Andes

2011 Recipients

Caroline Harper
Brown University
Project title: The morphology of the brush-like papillae in a nectar-feeding bat, Glossophaga soricina.

Fredrick Larabee
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Project title: Comparative study of ant mandible mechanical properties and performance.

Nathan Farrar
University of Alberta
Project title: Visualizing the structure of primary cilia in the osculum of the demosponge, Ephydatia muelleri.

2010 Recipients

Shanna Hanes
Department of Biology, Auburn University
Project title: Elevated autophagic activity during hyperthermic stress in the tropical sea anemone, Aiptasia pallida: a novel bleaching  mechanism

Joey Pakes
Department of Integrative Biology, UC-Berkeley
Project title: Investigation of chemosymbionts in the anchialine cave crustaceans Speleonectes c.f. tulumensis (Remipedia) and Typhlatya  sp. (Eumalacostraca).

2009 Recipients

Jessica Budke
Department Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut
Project title: Examining the matrotrophic calyptra and its role in moss sporophyte development using Funaria hygrometrica L. (Bryophyta [mosses]).

Bill McLamb
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology
Project title: Some like it hot: Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels as components of the novel infrared sensory organs of boid and crotaline snakes.

2008 Recipients

Ivey Ellis
Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University
Project title:
Comparative neural development of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica and the opisthobranch gastropod Berghia verrrucornis.

Andrea Cross
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology
Project title: Development of photoreceptor arrays in the retina of the African Spurred Tortoise, Geochelone sulcata.

2007 Recipients

Maria Celia Malay
Department of Zoology, University of Florida - Gainesville
Project title: Systematics and speciation of the coral-dwelling barnacles (Balanomorpha: Pyrgomatidae)

Johannes Achatz
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maine - Orono
Project title: Neurogenesis in development and asexual reproduction of Convolutriloba macropyga (Acoela)

2006 Recipients

Jodi L. Caskey
Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Project title: Contact chemoreception of sex pheromones in shrimp

J. Matthew Hoch
Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University
Project title: Effects of environment and population density on barnacle penis morphology