Sammy Trail, is a graduate student pursuing her M.S. and Ph.D. in integrative biology, and a SEA Scholar working in the Department of Biological Sciences Marine Science Laboratory. Sammy is part of The Glenn W. and Cornelia T. Bailey Marine SEA Scholars (Science, Education, and Art) program that provides awards to students who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to become ambassadors of community outreach focused on FAU Marine Research Lab studies and activities. Sammy works with research professor Michael Salmon, Ph.D., and professor Jeanette Wyneken, Ph.D.
Why did you choose FAU?
I was excited about the opportunity to take part in top-notch research, learn from world-renowned experts in the field, while still having an emphasis on sharing my research with the community (i.e., having a lab that is open to the public at Gumbo Limbo's Environmental Complex).
What are your research interests?
My research interests lie at the intersection of sensory biology and behavior, specifically as they relate to movement. My current thesis investigates the spectral sensitivity thresholds of leatherback sea turtle hatchlings during their initial crawl from the nest to the water and the corresponding crawling behaviors that occur in this species more than others. As I transition to my Ph.D. work, I hope to venture into the larger-scale movements of these great migrants once they enter the water and potentially investigate the sensory cues they use to navigate during that time.
What do you like best about being at FAU?
At FAU, I enjoy being surrounded by other curious people every day. I enjoy having a pulse on the goings-on of the sea turtle research community with one of the most densely nested sea turtle beaches right in our South Florida backyard. And I enjoy the collaborative effort of the FAU Marine Lab to give our science a broader audience.
What career are you interested in after you graduate?
I hope to become a university professor. As a former middle school teacher, I can't think of a better career path to combine my love of teaching, mentorship, and science research.