This spring, three of our MHS in One Health students completed their Capstone Research Experience and presented about their experiences and findings to faculty, staff, and students in the department. This project is the final piece of the MHS curriculum and is typically completed during the last semester of the degree program. Students work with their faculty advisor and our academic staff to select a research project that aligns with their academic interests and career goals. For some of our students, this is the first opportunity for hands-on research experience.
Check out what our students worked on this semester below!
Katherine Quintero, traveled to Darien, Panama for her capstone project to work with the Gorgas Institute for Health Research in Panama. She completed a two-week entomological field study where she collected and identified mosquito samples from land affected by deforestation. Katherine’s work furthers research on early detection and control of alphaviruses such as Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV) and Madariaga virus (MADV) that are affecting many South American countries currently.
Katherine Quintero, MHS, collects mosquito samples from shallow pond during her two-week field study in Darien, Panama.
For his capstone, Jesse Johnson worked with the Florida Department of Health using a One Health approach to combat the Hepatitis A Virus outbreak in Central Florida. Through their efforts, Seminole County was able to drop out of the top five affected counties in Florida. Not only did Jesse gain professional experience dealing with a topical health issue, but he was also able to secure a full-time position with the Department of Health after graduation.
Jesse Johnson (far left), MHS, pictured with the Florida Department of Health team.
Kristen Wilson’s capstone project focused on the link between urbanization and tick distribution in Gainesville, Florida. She worked closely with the UF Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department and surveyed 15 sites using the flag and drag method to collect ticks. Kristen’s findings contribute to public health work on ticks and their pathogens and how increasing urbanization and exposure can affect how many and how often people contract tick-related diseases.
Kristen Wilson, MHS, collects tick samples in Gainesville, Florida using the flag and drag method.
These are just a few examples of what our hard-working students can do during their capstone projects. For more information about the MHS in One Health Capstone Experience click here.