Student Spotlight: Jamie Fogg

A class taken in high school set Jamie Fogg on her path to studying marine biology, after having an opportunity to conduct her own research project on Mount Desert Rock (MDR), in Maine. “My project assessed wound rates of gray and harbor seals on MDR. My goal was to understand harm infliction for a remote population of seals. After assessing the current population, along with 4 years of backlog data, I found that a total of 11% of all wounds were human-inflicted, with fishing gear entanglement being a leading contender.” After presenting her findings at the Maine State Science Fair in 2022, she was awarded the Maine Top Scholars Scholarship, a program which encourages students to get involved in research early in their college career.

Nowadays, Fogg works in the Cammen Lab with mentor, Dr. Kristina Cammen. Together, their work is focused on Environmental DNA (eDNA), “a non-invasive method of collecting DNA from water samples and a powerful approach for assessing marine biodiversity, and detecting a singular species.” Fogg’s research also continues to focus on seals, as she investigates how we can best use eDNA samples to study gray seals in Cape Cod. “This study will continue to develop our understanding of eDNA dynamics and its potential application for monitoring seal species in a coastal environment.”

After her high school research mentor encouraged her to reach out to Dr. Kristina Cammen, Fogg joined the Cammen Lab in her freshman year. Doing so has provided her with “an extremely supportive environment to pursue a future in research. Anyone who knows Dr. Kristina Cammen knows her to be compassionate and determined to foster a welcoming environment. Dr. Cammen has not only introduced me to a multitude of research opportunities but has also been a role model to me as a successful woman in science with strong morals.”

Fogg recommends that anyone interested in research should “get involved early and be open to stepping out of your comfort zone! There are so many opportunities on campus, don’t be afraid to seek them out by reaching out to professors whose work you find compelling.” She encourages students to attend departmental seminars to discover new ideas. “I have learned about fascinating research done in the marine science world through these seminars.”