Biological Sciences Major, Honors Student Researches Ethical Aquaponics Through Young Scientist Program Student Profile
Meet Morgan Willis
- Job Title & Employer
- Young Scientist Program student, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science
- Biological Sciences
- Chemistry with a concentration in Environmental Science
- April 2020
- College Activities
- Honors Program and Point Park University Women's Soccer Team
- Presidential, Athletics and Simmons Family scholarships
- Bridgeport, W.Va.
- High School
- Bridgeport High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Soccer, art, music, botany, microbiology and cooking
"Morgan first applied for and obtained the position of honors assistant and worked with me on providing social media services for several nonprofit initiatives of Blue Marble Space. She was exceptionally independent, mature and diligent, and worked with our Blue Marble colleagues on One Flag In Space and SciWorthy awareness programs. Morgan’s demonstrated drive, commitment and her biology background and interests made her a great fit for the Young Scientist Program with another initiative, the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, where she worked with other scientists on ethical aquaponics."
"I find the small class sizes at Point Park University incredibly beneficial to me because I believe it makes learning more personal. Through this, I’ve learned how to communicate well with my professors and peers so that we can all perform our best."
How did you become involved with Blue Marble Space Institute of Science's Young Scientist Program?
Through Point Park University’s Honors Program, I acquired an apprenticeship with Dr. Brendan Mullan, who is a part of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science. I worked with him and several other people from the organization, and they recommended I apply.
What was the most fascinating part of your research studying aquaculture and aquaponics?
The most interesting thing I found through my research was that environmental pollutants, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, were already dangerous to fish and the organisms that ate them, but they are also believed to accelerate the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between bacteria, creating more issues than I previously thought.
What factors made you choose Point Park University and our biological sciences major?
I chose Point Park because of its small class and university size and because Pittsburgh was a big change of pace for me. Coming from a small town in West Virginia, I wanted to experience the city life.
How have our faculty and classes impacted you?
I find the small class sizes at Point Park University incredibly beneficial to me because I believe it makes learning more personal. Through this, I’ve learned how to communicate well with my professors and peers so that we can all perform our best.
What are your career goals?
I would like to get my master's degree and a Ph.D. in fields relating to botany, plant biochemistry and/or agriculture, with a focus on using plants in sustainable manners.