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Where are They Now?

Anne Cooper.

Anne Cooper

Keeping Track of Former Sea Grant-Supported Graduate Students

The last time we caught up with Sea Grant graduate student Anne Cooper, she was heading to Norway to study salmon genetics. This time, she just stepped off an airplane from Asia. Cooper is collaborating with Wansuk Senanan, a faculty member in the department of aquatic sciences at Burapha University, Thailand. Cooper and Senanan met as students in Anne Kapuscinski’s aquatic genetics laboratory at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where Cooper is finishing her doctoral research. Together, they are looking at the risks associated with farming genetically modified tilapia.

Curious about what became of Senanan, whose research on aquaculture and hybrid catfish farming in Thailand is available through Sea Grant (see page 9, journal reprints 523 and 490), we dropped her a line.

Here’s what she told us:

Which Sea Grant researcher did you work with as a graduate student and what did you work on?

During my training at the University of Minnesota, I worked closely with Anne Kapuscinski and Loren Miller in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Their support was important and their Sea Grant-funded projects helped me develop the skills necessary for my current job. For my master’s degree, I examined the genetic diversity of northern pike populations. For my dissertation, I evaluated genetic impacts of hybrid walking catfish on native catfish populations in Thailand.

Wansuk Senanan

Wansuk Senanan

What do you do now?

I teach, conduct research, and supervise undergraduate and graduate students back in my homeland. I’m involved in research ranging from evaluating ecological impacts of invasive fish and shrimp to population genetics of marine species (fish, shrimp, and sea turtles) to understanding sandy beach ecosystems. Getting to the beach by 2 a.m. to beat the tides and the heat to collect benthic invertebrate samples can be tough.

Working with new generations of scientists is fun and rewarding. You don’t realize what you know until you have to teach it to others. Students’ diverse interests keep me up-to-date on relevant literature.

How did your graduate work prepare you for your current job?

Everything I learned, including course work, interactions with professors, and volunteer work, seems to be useful. Conducting graduate research with renowned scientists was especially valuable.

Why do you think Sea Grant is a worthwhile organization?

In addition to providing funding and outreach opportunities for important research questions, Sea Grant provides a number of excellent opportunities for graduate students. I’d encourage students to make the most of the opportunities that are available; take courses, conduct research and outreach activities, and enjoy extra curricular activities.

By Sea Grant Staff
October 2006

Return to October 2006 Seiche

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