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Royall McMahon Ward '22

ars nova, 2021

Major: Environmental Science
Bio: Royall McMahon Ward is currently a junior at Fordham University where she is currently working towards a Bachelors in Science in Environmental Science. Royall plans on attending graduate school to obtain her Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy after she graduates.

Title of Research: Possible microplastic exchange between the American Horseshoe Crab and the Western Hemisphere Shorebirds through horseshoe crab eggs in Jamaica Bay, NY
Mentor: Dr. Mark Botton
Abstract: Neurons that seem unresponsive to any external stimuli have previously been excluded from scientific analysis. Referred to as “nominally non-responsive,” these cells are not silent but appear non-responsive in their spiking patterns, and likely encode important information about behavioral tasks. The study of membrane potential (Vm) of these neurons can help us understand brain function in an awake and behaving animal, and the synaptic inputs of these neurons. Whole-cell patch clamp recording is an accepted method to record Vm with low noise via a giga-seal connection. To follow through with this type of recording, the animals in the project must undergo a regular training regimen in order to learn an auditory task.