Megan Foley

megan foley

Senior biology major and 2015 VURF recipient Megan Foley presented her research at National Conference for Undergraduate Research in 2017.

On her experience:  

"The opportunity to present my research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I participated in an REU program at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where I completed a project investigating soil microbial nutrient limitations in two tropical rainforests. Ultimately, we found microbial respiration in deep lowland tropical soils was limited by soil phosphorus availability. I was chosen to present this project as a poster at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at the University of Memphis in Memphis Tennessee in April 2017. This experience contributed to my professional development as a scientist, as I learned how to summarize my project on a poster. This was particularly helpful as I am now beginning to draft a manuscript of this project, and the poster version allowed me to think critically about how I wanted to create my figures to best display my data. Additionally, I had to figure out how to communicate the design and major take-aways of my research to students and professors from a wide range of disciplines.This conference was a constructive exercise in science communication. Lastly, this conference has contributed in my decision to pursue a career in scientific research after I graduate. I intend to work as a research assistant for a year before applying to a PhD program in biology. Having the chance to experience presenting at a national conference has helped me to solidify my plans to pursue research after I graduate."