Research Practices Award 2014

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Meet Corinne Straube and Renee Meschi, winners of the Collins Memorial Library Research Practices Award! The award recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate exemplary skill and creativity in the application of library and information resources to original research and scholarship.


2014 Winners

ScienceCorinne Straube [Form submission.CorinneStraube.pdf]
Project Title:
The Metabolic Cost of Carrying a Sexually Selected Trait: Insights from Male Fiddler Crabs
Faculty Advisor:
Alexa Tullis

According to the judges:
We appreciated Corinne's detailed description of her literature review of sexual selection in a range of species, focusing on common fiddler crabs. Her extensive research, which made use of the library's print and electronic collections, informed both her understanding of the evolutionary forces at work in sexual selection as well as her experimental design for the study that she undertook this summer to look at energy usage in male fiddler crabs.

She began her research by focusing on articles looking at sexual selection studies of common fiddler crabs, but expanded her search by looking at a wide variety of species and selection mechanisms, as well as by following the scholarly conversation through references cited in the original articles. Corinne's description of the challenge of contextualizing the data she gathered within the framework of the existing scholarly literature demonstrated her thorough understanding of the scope and relevance of her work.

Her enthusiasm for her subject clearly shone through as she discussed the ramifications of her results, and suggested opportunities for further research on the evolutionary mechanism of sexually selected traits.


Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Renee Meschi [Form submission.ReneeMeschi.pdf]
People, Plants, and Fungi: Examining the Biological and Social Landscapes of the Swan Creek Park Food Forest
Faculty Advisor:
Amy Fisher

According to the judges:
In her impressive summer research project, “People, Plants, and Fungi: Examining the Biological and Social Landscapes of the Swan Creek Park Food Forest,” Renee Meschi ably demonstrates the reflective, iterative thinking process that multidisciplinary research requires.  In order to succeed in her project, Renee needed to navigate through multiple disciplinary databases and to negotiate multiple value systems.  Renee readily noted that her greatest challenge was “navigating differing standards of evidence across disciplines,” but she met this challenge through consultations with professors and librarians in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences as she continued to refine her focus and her research strategies.  Her thoughtful approach to evidence allowed her to uncover the roots of cultural misunderstandings in the Swan Creek Park Food Forest project and to establish a template for ethical future action that acknowledges the complex social and cultural differences that community groups bring to the table.  Her presentation of her research at the symposium was exceptionally creative.  We congratulate Renee on her outstanding work!