Cassie Gray – 2009 Wilson Memorial Scholarship

CassieGray09Biography and MS Research Topic: Cassie is from the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and she was honored for her Masters thesis research project investigating the geomicrobiology and geochemistry of the freshwater to saline water transition zone of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas. I will examine the microbiological diversity from the 16S rRNA gene sequences from wells along a transect from the freshwater to the saline water zone. She will focus on a transect of eight wells in New Braunfels, Texas, where she will collect water samples to characterize the microbial diversity using molecular techniques and then experimentally determine the rates of carbonate dissolution across the geochemical transition zone, from both abiotic and biotic processes. The results will be used to evaluate factors that influence porosity development processes in the Edwards Aquifer today.