Koontz '25 Wins Two Awards at Sigma Xi Virtual Conference

Submitted by Lorena Torres-… on April 25, 2024 - 11:58 am
April 25, 2024
By Lorena Torres-Martinez

Sophia Koontz '25, a junior biology major, was awarded the best undergraduate oral research presentation and the best interdisciplinary research for environmental challenges in the 2024 Sigma Xi Student Research Showcase. Koontz presented the work she did at SMCM during her 2023 St. Mary's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) under the supervision of Assistant Professor Lorena Torres Martínez. Since then she has been doing directed research in Torres' research lab to complement the work she did over summer 2023. Koontz's research aimed at understanding how sea level rise will influence the symbiotic association of soil bacteria called rhizobia with legumes using as a model system clover plants, which are particularly used in agriculture as cover crops. You can read more about her research here.

Koontz was also awarded the opportunity to be a research intern over this upcoming summer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, U.S. National Arboretum.





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