Callie Crawford received the Jeffrey C. & Carol A. Carrier Poster Award in 2014 at the meeting in Chatanooga, TN for her Masters research at the College of Charleston with Dr. Gavin Naylor.
Q. How did you get started in this field?
As an undergraduate I worked in Dr. Cheryl Wilga’s lab at the University of Rhode Island which was my first experience with shark research, however it wasn’t until starting my master’s degree that I really had my “Aha” moment and had my place within this field.
Q. Tell us a little about your award winning research. What is the most important finding of your research?
My thesis research is a broad survey of the skeletal anatomy of Chondrichthyans. To create this survey, which became an atlas of skeletal variation, I use computed tomography (CT) to create 3D digital models of the skeletal anatomy of over 120 individuals spanning 50 families and 109 genera. The most important aspect of this work has been the opportunity to look inside specimens of very rare species while still keeping the specimen intact for future researchers. The most interesting findings have been the variation in radiopacity of different structures and sometimes entire specimens, these differences could potentially be attributable to age of the specimen, habitat, behavior, timing between specimen death and preservation, preservation techniques, or a number of other factors.
Q. How did this award help you complete the project?
This award helped me gain confidence in the importance and broader interest in my topic and the techniques I am using in my research.
Q. What's next for you?
After completing my MS degree, I plan to continue on to a PhD studying functional morphology and biomechanics.
Thanks and good luck Callie. Hope to see you at the upcoming meeting in New Orleans!