Spring 2017| Posse Veterans Quarterly


Posse Veteran Explores Environmental Research

Posse Veteran Comus Hardman IV is a sophomore at Vassar College with a passion for life sciences. A biology major, Comus was awarded full funding from Vassar’s Environmental Research Institute to participate in a University of Montana-affiliated ecology program in the Caribbean during winter break.

The ecology program studied coral reefs and the devastating impact that pollution, overfishing and climate change have had on them. Comus’s final culminating project centered on the dive heights of brown pelicans.

“Studying brown pelicans allows us to gain insight into the health of the ecosystem of coral reefs,” Comus says. “For me, it was exciting to make a unique contribution to an existing body of knowledge about the species.”

In addition to his experience in ecology, Comus has conducted rigorous, hands-on research in comparative genomics as part of a special collaboration with professors and other students. The project, entitled Gene Annotation of Contig 54 in the euchromatic 3L Chromosome in Drosophila ficusphila, is affiliated with the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), a program that encourages scholars to think about the broader societal implications of life sciences research.

In the future, Comus hopes to go on to graduate school and is interested in the intersection of biology, environmental studies, technology and business.

“I want to arm myself with as much of an understanding of our natural world and the human impact on it as I can,” Comus says, “so that I may create positive change.” 

View other stories in the Posse Veterans Quarterly