Mirabai McCarthy, Botany, "New Facets of the Diamond Fern Revealed"

2011 Graduate Research Forum Top Poster Presentation  

Mirabai McCarthy


Mirabai McCarthy, a Miami University doctoral student in the department of Botany, received recognition as one of the top Poster Presentations at the 2011 Miami University Graduate Research Forum for her work "New Facets of the Diamond Fern Revealed."  The work explored the Adiantum trapeziforme, a neo-tropical fern that extends from Mexico throughout the Central American area.  McCarthy explored the various characteristics of the fern species including segment shape and size, length of the segment stalks and presence or absence of pubescence.  "Most people in science are more interested in exploring genetics" said McCarthy.  "This type of work provides the foundation for all areas of biology."

The 2011 Graduate Research Forum was the second forum in which McCarthy had participated during her time at Miami, but the first where her work received recognition.  "The research forum is such a great way to share research with other scholars in your field" said McCarthy.  "It is a unique opportunity to come together and interact.  It was a wonderful experience."

McCarthy completed her undergraduate studies at Lyndon State College in Vermont, receiving her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science with minors in both Geology and Botany.  She fell in love with the study of plants and ferns after meeting and talking with a pteridologist, a person who studies species of ferns.  For her current work, McCarthy worked with Dr. R. James Hickey, Professor in the Department of Botany.  "He provided me the freedom to explore any area" said McCarthy.  "He offered independence, yet guidance and enthusiasm."  McCarthy completed her master's degree in Botany at Miami University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D.  She is now in the process of applying for teaching positions where she hopes to continue her passion for science after graduation from Miami.