Success Story: Harrison Mancke

Inspired by marine biologist Sylvia Earle to explore our oceans, marine biology student Harrison Mancke dove into research at Florida International University’s Coastal Ecosystems REU Site in the summer of 2019. Mancke worked with Drs. Todd Crowl and Jone Corrales, along with student mentor Rose Santana at FIU’s Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology Lab. Her research focused on copper contamination on the Sailfin Molly fish. Pesticides and fertilizers, among other structural components, contribute to the increased amount of copper being observed in our waterways, leading to a larger contamination problem for species living in these impacted ecosystems.

Mancke presented at the final REU Student Research Symposium and gave another oral and poster presentation at the FIU McNair Scholars Research Conference in October of 2019. Today, Mancke is working part-time at the Ecotoxicology Lab and progressing with new research looking at Slough crayfish and Florida Crayfish, to see how they respond to temperature behaviorally and metabolically. These Crayfish serve as important supplies of nutrition for our native wetland birds and they cannot sustain life with rising waters and heating temperatures. This can cause an imbalance in our Everglades ecosystem and Mancke’s research will give us a better understanding of the consequences that may happen if these Crayfish die off.

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Mancke will pursue graduate school to expand her knowledge of the physiological side of her marine research. She aspires to build a career contributing to the improvement of scientific communication by developing conservation plans and outreach methods.

Harrison Mancke Florida International University