Biology Student Earns Summer Research Fellowship

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Andrea Cross, a Florida Tech senior majoring in marine biology, has earned a prestigious Summer Research Fellowship from the American Microscopical Society. The award will support her work in the laboratory of Michael Grace, Ph.D, Florida Tech associate professor of biological sciences.

Cross will use confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy to study the development of photoreceptor arrays in the retina of the endangered African Spurred Tortoise. A photoreceptor array is the collection of light-gathering cells of the eye.
The society made just two such national awards; the other was for graduate summer research. As part of the award Cross and Grace were invited to present their research findings at the next conference of the American Microscopical Society.

Additionally, Cross just won the Brooks Award for the best presentation at the regional conference of Tri-Beta, the biological honor society, and Florida Tech’s Dr. Kerry Bruce Clark Endowed Scholarship in Marine Biology. She is secretary of the campus chapter of Tri-Beta and past officer of the Aquaculture Society and Best Buddies, a service organization helping persons with disabilities. Planning to graduate in December, 2008, she is from St. Louis, Mo.

The American Microscopical Society is an international society of biologists organized to encourage the use of microscopy.

Florida Tech offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marine biology.

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