Student Spotlight: Brenna Hutchings

Brenna Hutchings is seeking her BS in Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington with plans to graduate in 2022. She works in the iMESA (Integrated Molecular Ecology of Sponges & Ascidians) Lab under Dr. Susanna López-Legentil.

Brenna has been researching the impact that the severe weather conditions of Hurricane Florence have had on the abundance and diversity of ascidian (sea squirt) populations along the coast of North Carolina. Ascidians are sessile marine invertebrates that are found in fouling communities on harbors, marinas, and natural reefs, and can serve as model organisms to map the pathways taken by introduced and invasive marine species. This fall and upcoming spring, she will be designing and presenting multiple research posters presenting the results of the most recent iMESA lab study with which she has been involved. Great work Brenna!