Karen Moy

wisestar_moyKaren Moy:Recipient of the Graduate Women in Science Vessa Notchev Fellowship

I am working towards a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. I have a B.S. in Paleobiology from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Geology from Indiana University . I am interested in animal behavior and how it is recorded by the fossil record. Currently, I am focusing on the rapid, early increase in complexity and diversity seen in the trace fossil record during the Cambrian period. I believe this increase in diversity and complexity is a behavioral response to an increasingly heterogeneous environment. My hypothesis predicts that the behaviors that lead to complex trace fossils are phylogenetically primitive, and thus widespread throughout the animal kingdom. I am studying the foraging behavior of a diverse array of modern organisms, including the nematode C. elegans , mollusks and arthropods, to assess the similarity of the observed foraging behaviors within and between different groups, and those recorded by the trace fossil record. The Vessa Notchev Fellowship will fund my work with C. elegans , completely covering my lab and equipment expenses.