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SEBS Class of 2019: Joshua Daw, A Great Eye for Detail

Josh DawJoshua Daw, a Marine Biology major with a minor in Anthropology, is a unique combination of creative and meticulous, traits that are highly valued in painstaking data collection research projects like the one he’s worked on alongside his thesis advisor Daphne Munroe, associate professor at Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory (HSRL) in Bivalve, NJ.

As Munroe explains, not only was the work Joshua did vital to ongoing research at HSRL–it included collecting data to answer some important questions about the ways that horseshoe crabs move around and within oyster farms–but he also brought thoughtful, innovative ideas that were also included in the important experiments.

“I was lucky to have a student like Josh join my research team last spring,” says Munroe. “He is an impressively hard worker, and I was amazed by the level of detail and care he put into the horseshoe crab experiments we conducted.”

We salute Joshua Daw, SEBS Class of 2019, who shared a little about himself, in his own words, with the SEBS/NJAES Newsroom.

What is your research about?
“The research I am working on now for my Cook Scholars thesis is on the spatial distribution of horseshoe crab eggs along the Delaware Bay. Over the summer I worked at the Haskin lab under the guidance of associate professor Daphne Munroe. I worked on her project that examined the ecological interaction horseshoe crabs had on oyster farms and now I am expanding upon that project with the research I am performing now. Dr. Munroe is also my adviser for my research project.”

Josh DawDo you currently have plans for graduate school? And if so, will it involve this very ‘track’ you’re on?
“I always had an interest in Biology. Ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to do something with animals when I grew up, but I didn’t know that I wanted to major in marine biology until the end of my freshman year. I was in a Byrnes Seminar with Professor Robert Chant and on the last day of class I went up to him. To be honest I forget exactly what I asked him (I was pretty nervous) but it was something along the lines of how to be successful in college. Ultimately he told me that I needed hands-on experience and he offered me an opportunity to do research for him. He is a professor in physical oceanography at Rutgers. So I mixed my love of biology with the experience I was gaining from working with the subject of physical oceanography and I ended up majoring in marine biology. I have a tentative plan for grad school in about a year. I actually have plans on continuing the research I am doing now. After finals I plan on going back down to the Haskin lab for the end of the horseshoe crab spawning season and expanding upon my research.”

How and where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 20 years
“In 10-20 years I have no idea where I’ll be. I’ve come to believe that life always takes you on unexpected paths, and almost nothing goes as expected. I’m going to continue to pursue a career in Biology but I’m going to continue to take any opportunity that comes my way. To be honest when I was a freshman I never expected to do any of the research that I have done over my college career or even to receive any award. I just followed the path of opportunities that came my way.”

Generally, what did you find most surprising about your time here at SEBS? Most challenging, even?
“Over my time at SEBS and Rutgers I would describe my time similarly to that of a mountain climb. It was a long journey that was very difficult at times, but ultimately incredibly rewarding and an overall amazing experience.”

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