UAB Biology launches graduate-students-in-residence program with McWane Science Center

The McWane Science Center and UAB are partnering to provide students a unique research opportunity at World of Water Aquarium.
Written by: Dylan Baggiano
Media contact: Alicia Rohan

University of Alabama at Birminghammcwane.2Photo courtesy of the McWane Science Center graduate students studying biology will gain hands-on research experience through a partnership with McWane Science Center’s World of Water Aquarium.

The new graduate-students-in-residency program from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology provides students with opportunities to conduct research in animal physiology, evolution, coral reef ecology, tropical marine ecosystem conservation and developmental biology.

“Learning from UAB’s world-class biologists and working with a variety of marine life at McWane will give students the chance to apply their textbook knowledge in the field,” said Andrew Gentry, Ph.D., a UAB graduate and full-time biologist helping to care for the hundreds of aquatic and marine animals that live in the World of Water Aquarium. “The hands-on experience gained from researching in a lab will help propel these students and their future careers in biology.”

McWane Science Center is a nonprofit science museum devoted to providing inquiry-based learning opportunities through exciting, hands-on activities and exhibits for all ages. One of its main roles in the Birmingham community is to connect visitors with real-world science opportunities and challenges, says Amy Templeton, president and CEO of McWane Science Center.

“This incredible partnership with UAB allows McWane to provide our community access to the science and research being conducted in our backyard, and to the scientists who are making it happen,” Templeton said.

Students will graduate from the McWane GSR program possessing the qualitative and quantitative skills necessary to conduct research and teach aquatic or marine biology. The GSM program was created by Gentry and Stephen Watts, Ph.D., the graduate program director for UAB’s Department of Biology.