Talofa, and welcome to my page. My name is Miracle Tali, born and raised on the island of American Samoa. I attended American Samoa Community College and received my Associates Degree in Marine Science and Liberal Arts. I’m especially interested in studying the environment, and decided to become a marine biologist. After graduating from ASCC, I applied and was accepted to attend a Summer Research Program for Minority Undergraduates here at the University of Connecticut for ten weeks.
I was chosen to do research at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Dr Louise Lewis’ lab along with her two graduate students. My research is based on “Characterizing Green Algae in Desert Biotic Crusts”. The goal of my research is to compare the species of desert green algae from North America with those from another geographic location in South Africa. I am to determine if desert green algae on different continents are similar or if they represent very different types/species. To understand my project better, I joined a weekly journal club where we read and discuss papers on several relevant topics of green algae, desert crusts, biodiversity etc… My experience at the University of Connecticut has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. This Summer Research Program has not only been one of the best experiences of my collegiate career, it has been the best experience of my life. I amount of information I have learned at the University of Connecticut is immeasurable. And without these people I wouldn’t get the chance to have such great experience, be able to learn new things and meeting new people. Therefore, I would like to acknowledge the following: Dr. Ruth Washington, and Dr. Lee Aggison (Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology) for accepting me into their program, and be able to provide me with all my necessary needs; Dr. Louise Lewis - Molly and Karolina (Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) for allowing me to work in her lab with the help of her two graduate students. Thank you so much!!! And as well as the NEA and NSF for financial support. It was a pleasure to be here and meeting you all. Thank you all for the time that you spare for me, the lessons that I have learnt, but most of all this once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. God Bless…