The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences supports a robust undergraduate research program through internships, directed studies, and undergraduate research. It is not uncommon for the students conducting undergraduate research to make meaningful contributions to ongoing studies. These students are included as junior authors on articles published in top-ranked journals in a variety of fields. However, recently two undergraduates working in the WFSC Laboratory of Parasitology were so instrumental in their research projects, that they were both listed as first authors on research articles.
In 2018, undergraduate student, Sophia Sánchez, along with M.S. student, Liat Goldstein, and WFSC professor, Norman Dronen published an article concerning a 20.7 m (about 68 ft.) long tapeworm from a bottlenose dolphin that was found dead along the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston.
Sánchez, S. M., Goldstein, L. Y. and Dronen, N. O. (2018) Diphyllobothrium stemmacephalum Cobbold, 1858 (Diphyllobothriidea) from common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu) from the Texas Gulf coast, USA. Zootaxa, 4379 (3), 448–450.
In 2019, another undergraduate student, Kelsey Garner, published an article with Essa Mohammed (Marine Science Center, University of Basrah, Iraq), Charles Blend (Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History), Majid Bannai (Species Diversity Program, University of Basrah, Iraq), and Norman Dronen concerning a parasite from a fish (Hilsa shad) from the Arabian Gulf.
Garner, K. L., Mohammed, E. T., Blend, C.K., Bannai, M., and Dronen, N. O. (2019) Redescription of Faustula gangetica (Srivastava, 1935) (Plagiorchiida: Faustulidae) in the Hilsa Shad, Tenualosa ilisha (Hamilton) (Clupeidae), from the Arabian Gulf off Iraq. Comparative Parasitology, 86 (2), 89–93.
Both of these publications are significant contributions in their field and serve as evidence of the high-quality undergraduate students at Texas A&M University.