A group of eighth grade science students at Monticello Middle School, working with Dr. Marvin Fawley, professor and assistant dean for science and research at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, have identified a new species of algae of the genus Pseudellipsoidion.
The finding was part of a project initiated by Fawley with the science class at the middle school. The primary goal of the project was to isolate new strains of algae from the class Eustigmatophyceae which produce high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and hydrocarbons.
The students were shown two water samples from a ditch on the UAM campus that contains mats of algae. The students were given 50-milliliter collection tubes to collect algal samples to culture. A new strain was identified from the samples collected.
Dr. Marvin Fawley is pictured above with students Aaron Hampton, Grant Jeffers, Will O’Fallon and Gabe Martens.