Undergraduate Student Spotlight:
Undergraduate Student, Krisha Patel (Class of 2017) works with Dr. Floria Uy to investigate the evolution of behavior in social insects and camouflage in ghost crabs
Krisha Patel is a Pre-Veterinary student at the University Miami. Looking to gain some research experience, she started working with Dr. Floria Uy her sophomore year on the invasive spider, Cyrtophora cytricola. Krisha loved the hands on experience of collecting spiders in the field, as well as rearing the spiders in the lab. She continued her research in the lab analyzing previously collected data to investigate the link between group formation and brain development of the social wasp species, Mischocyttarus mexicanus.
Fall of her junior year, Krisha continued her studies in Ecuador, spending three of the four months abroad in the Galapagos Islands with UGalapagos. She gained first-hand knowledge of the ecosystems of Ecuador through the many field trips taken on the mainland and in the Galapagos. Krisha went abroad again when she was awarded a Beyond the Book scholarship for summer research, which was used to fund a month long trip to the Solomon Islands. In the Solomons, Krisha conducted field experiments on nestmate recognition in weaver ants and crypsis in ghost crabs with Drs. Floria and Al Uy in the Makira-Ulawa Province. During these trips abroad, not only did Krisha have the opportunity to observe and study nature, but she was also fully immersed in the cultures of Ecuador and the Solomon Islands. Krisha’s trips abroad left her inspired by the beauty nature had to offer and humbled by the people she met.
As a Lead Global Ambassador for Study Abroad, Krisha promotes study abroad and welcomes international students who are studying at the University of Miami. After graduating she hopes to pursue a career in either international veterinary medicine or small animal veterinary medicine.
Krisha catches ghost crabs along the shores of the Namara Wetlands on Makira Island, Solomon Islands, for her independent field study on the evolution of cryptic coloration in crabs. Krisha's field research experience was funded by a Beyond the Book Award from UM's College of Arts and Sciences.