SURF/Rose Hills, for the first time in summer 2012, allows students in mathematics, science, and engineering majors in the colleges of L&S, Natural Resources, Engineering, and Chemistry to immerse themselves in full-time research over the summer. Thanks to the generous support of The Rose Hills Foundation, Jared received a fellowship for $5,950: $5,000 as a stipend, and $950 for supplies.
Jared used his summer fellowship to prepare for an honors thesis, which he is currently undertaking. His honos project is investigating the evolution of VEF-domain containing genes across mosses. These genes are important to the transition between gametophyte and sporophyte generation and may play a key role in the evolution of sporophyte dominance among land plants. As mosses live most of their lives in the gametophyte generation, the understanding of VEF genes across mosses will help us to understand how these genes have evolved to affect changes in the transition between gametophyte and sporophyte generation within mosses; comparative studies between Physcomitrella (a moss) and Arabidopsis (an angiosperm) will then be used to determine how sporophyte dominance evolved from an ancestor with a gametophyte-dominated life cycle.
For more on the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and SURF/Rose Hill, check out http://research.berkeley.edu/surf/