Kyle Frischkorn



I am a senior at the University of Washington pursuing a bachelor of science with a major in Microbiology and a minor in Marine Biology.



I became familiar with Dr. Rocap's work when she was a guest lecturer in my first marine biology class at UW. After class I contacted her and asked about the possibility of doing undergraduate research.

My first project was working with Cedar doing bioinformatics on the Stramenopile Chloroplast Genomics Project, which falls under the NSF-funded umbrella program called the Assembling the Tree of Life Project. My responsibilities included analyzing, annotating and proof-reading the sequenced chloroplast genomes.

 At the Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2009 I gave a talk on this project entitled "The Annotation of Chloroplast Genomes: Discovering the Evolutionary History of Algal Stramenopiles".

Now I'm working with graduate student Michael Carlson on discovering and characterizing viruses that infect species of the marine diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia. During the course of my work on this project I've had the opportunity to take field samples from various coasts in the Pacific Northwest during Pseudo-nitzschia blooms and participate on two research cruises in the Puget Sound. I have isolated and identified strains of Pseudo-nitzschia from these bloom situations. I had the opportunity to showcase my work on these projects during the 2010 Undergraduate Research Symposium and as part of the Oceans and Human Health Autumn 2010 Seminar Series.

I am currently attempting to use new strains of Pseudo-nitzschia as hosts during virus isolation experiments. I am also working with Michael to characterize a Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries specific virus.