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Jennifer Polinski joined the lab as a Masters student in August of 2014. Her thesis research focuses on the coral-Symbiodinium symbiosis in mesophotic coral reefs (>30m) in the Gulf of Mexico . For her thesis, Jennifer will characterize the zooxanthellae assemblages found in Montastraea cavernosa through classical measures of abundance and pigment content as well as through genetic identification using next generation sequencing. In additional to characterizing these assemblages, she will compare them to symbiont assemblages from neighboring shallow reef ecosystems. Prior to joining the graduate program, she volunteered in the lab during the summer of 2013 and worked as anintern during the summer of 2014, doing research in conjunction with the St. Lucie Reef Project . In May of 2014, she completed her B.A. in Biology and Mathematics at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. After completing her degree at HBOI, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in research and academia.