Sophia Ruberti '22

Sophia Ruberti

Major: Natural Science
Bio: Sophia Ruberti is a sophomore at Fordham Lincoln Center where she is majoring in Natural Science. This past summer she began research and enjoyed working with Dr. Egan. She hopes to continue learning and doing research in the future.

Title of Research: Developing Methods for Examining Landscape Characteristics Through Pollen DNA Extraction and Analysis
Mentor: Dr. Mary Egan
Abstract: The goal of this project was to develop molecular methods for using pollen collected by bees to determine not only what species bees are feeding on, but also the species richness of the flora in the area they are feeding. We observed different colors of pollen and hypothesized that each color represented a single species and that each pollen pellet contained pollen from a single plant. We separated pollen pellets into groups based on color and extracted DNA from representatives. We found a less vigorous DNA extraction method to be more effective. After PCR amplification and sequencing of the rbcL gene, we compared our sequences to those on GenBank using Blast search and found eight species from our 10 original color groups.