BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Denisse Gayosso-Lucano, a student at Fox Lane High School, recently received the Acorda Scientific Excellence Award for her research paper and scientific work on the effects of urbanization on the genetic diversity of red oak trees in the northeastern United States.
As part of receiving the Acorda Scientific Excellence Award, Gayosso-Lucano has been featured on WFAS 1230-AM, where she spoke about her project.
Gayosso-Lucano's research explores whether urbanization contributes to the decrease of genetic diversity of red oaks in the Northeast. This is a significant question because red oaks are a foundation species, which means that if red oaks are affected, other species that depend on them — like humans — will be affected as well.
To answer questions about urbanization and the genetic diversity of red oaks, Gayosso-Lucano has collected leaf samples and DNA from trees in 50 sample locations, and is comparing those samples in the laboratory.