Ansley Watkins

Ansley Watkins is a Natural Resource Management major at The Ohio State University. She spent last summer working with Dr. Mažeika Sullivan and Dr. Kay Stefanik at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park conducting research focused on harmful algal blooms. After graduating in 2021, Ansley hopes to pursue a career in conservation, preservation, and education.

student wearing baseball cap works on testing water samples outside

LSAMP: Tell me a little bit about the research you’re conducting this summer!

Ansley: I’m working with Dr. Mažeika Sullivan at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park. I’ve also been working a lot with Dr. Kay Stefanik, and I work with two other undergraduate students looking at harmful algal blooms, especially nutrient components, in the upper Ohio River Basin. The project is multi-faceted, but I work in the lab and outside collecting different components to be analyzed.

LSAMP: How did you get involved in undergraduate research?

Ansley: I have done undergraduate research before, and I thought this program would be a good opportunity to get involved in research here. I really enjoyed the class taught at the Wetlands Facility last summer during the LSAMP Summer Bridge Program, so I was very excited to work there. I wanted to work in something related to the environment and natural resources, so I am glad to have this opportunity.

LSAMP: What do you enjoy most about undergraduate research?

Ansley: I enjoy exploring topics I have not really had much experience with. I also like the hands-on applications and experience, and I enjoy meeting new personnel with whom I share some interests. The wetlands are lovely, and I also enjoy visiting different collection sites.

LSAMP: Does your experience working with undergraduate research connect to your future career goals?

Ansley: Yes, the research connects with my future career goals. I am not sure what I want to do after graduation, but I am very interested in conservation, preservation, and education. Working in the lab has also helped affirm my enjoyment with the School of Environment and Natural Resources.