Casey Engstrom, MSc student

After spending four years working as an ornithologist, in 2018 I decided to trade my binoculars for a microscope and join the Quarmby Lab as an MSc student. I completed my BA in biology at Middlebury College, VT in 2013.

The snow algae Chlamydomonas nivalis is ubiquitous throughout alpine and arctic snowpack in summer months, however it is only known by it’s red zygospores. For my project I will investigate the life cycle of this algae, testing the hypothesis that a green motile vegetative form of this species is responsible for bloom development. I will sample field sites extensively throughout the early summer in search for these cells, isolate them using FACS, and identify by 18S and ITS2 barcoding.