Our fearless leader: Jim Bonacum, Ph.D.,
or as we know him, the "Czar of PCR." With a degree
from Yale and a position at the American Museum of Natural
History, Jim knows his stuff. He loves to teach as well.
Jim made the world of genetics and biotechnology both exciting
and easy. His patience and dedication to our group was
infinite. Jim made the project fun! From the first
day on the beach to the endless hours of sequence editing, Jim
was there with praise and a good story to ease the tension.
It is also worth noting that we were there when Jim's
career in the nationally renowned band "Flat Rabbit" began its
climb toward the stars.
Eleven teachers worked together for two weeks on a phylogenetic study. The study used
animals collected at Island Beach State Park along the coast of
central New Jersey. We analyzed a segment
of the 18s rRNA gene from 11 representative taxa of 6 phyla. We constructed a phylogenetic tree illustrating evolutionary relationships
between the taxa. Generally, the tree reflected expected
relationships; however some anomalies appeared.
We developed a fuller tree using published data from additional taxa. This helped, yet anomalies remained.