Research outside the classroom, under the sea

By Megan Bradshaw on January 12, 2020

TU student groups visit aquarium on research learning experience

Jay Nelson
Professor Jay Nelson at the aquarium with TU students

Twenty-two Towson University students from the Honors College, the Undergraduate Research Club (URC) and the TU-Research Enhancement Program (TU-REP) toured the National Aquarium on Friday, Dec. 6 with aquarium researcher and TU professor Jay Nelson.

The program, “Research Outside the Classroom,” included a tour of most of the exhibits at the aquarium guided by Nelson, who researches catfish in the Amazon as well as the fish that inhabit the Chesapeake Bay.

Sea turtle

Nelson also discussed ways in which students could approach faculty members to inquire about being a part of a research project as well as the research process from undergraduate to graduate school and beyond.

He shared insights on how to write grant applications, how he uses grants to support his own research and how students can start their own research journey.

“I really enjoyed professor Nelson's talk about marine research at the aquarium and learning about the evolutionary adaptations of different animals,” says Avanti Kolluri, one of the students who attended the trip. “It was fascinating to learn how sharks' young will eat their siblings when they’re still in the womb or how there are a few fish that have not evolved in many years, which means they have obtained their ideal body.”