Undergraduate Research: Aquatic Biodiversity
Students develop a hypothesis about what bodies of water they expect to find higher biodiversity. This could be based on disturbance, habitat simplification, connection to other waterways, etc. We collect aquatic invertebrates using dip-nets, fish and baited crayfish and fish traps from streams or lakes. Students identify the invertebrates and fish using microscopes and dichotomous keys. We then calculate biodiversity according to the Shannon Diversity Index (H), species count and species accumulation curve. Students submit a report with all three methods and compare and contrast the value of each measure of biodiversity. I have modified features of the study based on course level.