This week, PhD student Milena Benavides Serrato was in Santa Catarina (Brasil) at the Latinamerican Congress of Ocean Sciences (Congreso Latinoamericano de Ciencias del Mar, COLACMAR). This conference is an important event for marine research in the Americas. The event brings together researchers, professionals and students of several institutions and universities interested in developing marine science in America. COLACMAR takes place every two years and is organised by the Latinamerican Association of Ocean Sciences Researchers (Asociación Latinoamericana de investigadores de Ciencias del Mar, ALICMAR) with universities and other marine institutions of several countries.
Milena presented the poster "Microsatellites design of Echinometra lucunter lucunter (Echinodermata: Echinoidea: Echinometridae) with bioinformatics tool galaxy, next generation sequencing", to showcase part of phD research she has been working on for the past years. She has developed 26 new microsatellite markers for the sea urchin Echinometra lucunter using a new bioinformatics pipeline developed by the Ecological Genetics Lab at MMU. In the future, she hopes to use these markers to determine the genetic structure and connectivity between populations of this sea urchin throughout the rocky shores of the Caribbean.