2015 Young Naturalist Awards Winners, Finalists and Semifinalists main content.

2015 Young Naturalist Awards Winners, Finalists and Semifinalists

Part of the Young Naturalist Awards Curriculum Collection.


2015 YNA Winners

7th Grade

  • Jonathan S. “The Effect of Water Temperature, Water Acidity, and Animal Age/Body Size on the Opercular Respiratory Rate of Brown Bullhead Catfish”
  • Manashree P. “Greening Under the Evergreens: A Biochar Soil Amendment Study”

8th Grade

  • Ashley A. “Harboring a Problem with Dissolved Oxygen Levels”
  • Kacey M. “Mango Skins: An Effective Organic Pest Deterrent”

9th Grade

  • Catherine S. “Goldfish as a Model for Understanding Learning and Memory: More Complex than you Think”
  • William B. “Dripping with Life: Investigating Bacteria in Speleothem Carbonates from Natural and Artificial Surfaces”

10th Grade

  • Katherine H. “Temporal Changes in the Vertebrate Scavenger Community in Association with Wildebeest Carcasses”
  • Zachary W. “Digging in the Dark: Broad-Scale Sea Turtle Nesting Patterns vis-á-vis Satellite-Derived Measures of Artificial Lighting”

11th Grade 

  • Anne D. “The Effects of Varying Conductivity on Phytoplankton Concentration and Species Composition in the Presence of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Lake Mattamuskeet”
  • Soon il H. “The Identification of Cutaneous Bacteria on Salamanders that Inhibit the Chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

12th Grade

  • Beatrice B. “Forecasting Hurricane Hazards for the Long Island Area”
  • Lilith S. “Chytrid Treatments and Their Compatibility with Amphibian Tissue”

2015 YNA Finalists

7th Grade

  • Bryce B.  “White Tail Deer: Feeding Habits and Preferences”
  • Caroline R. “A Study of Food Preference of Winter Birds in Western Pennsylvania”
  • Cassidy H. “Tree Asymmetry: Investigating the Relationship Between Access to Sunlight and Tree Morphology”
  • Spencer M. “Testing the Waters: The Rio Grande”
  • William T. “What Are You Swimming In?”

8th Grade

  • Colby B. “A Comparison of Animal Species Near Different Urban Water Environments”
  • Elijah M. “The Effect of a Research-based Redesign of a Bird Feeding Area on the Number and Variety of Birds Visiting the Area”
  • Emily A. “Certification of New Jersey’s Vernal Pools”
  • Gauri G. “What Material Best Absorbs Oil?”
  • Isabella N. “A Pisaster Disaster: A Study of the Sea Star Wasting Disease at Lighthouse Field State Beach”
  • Lexi E. “Preferred Autumn Browse of Rocky Mountain Mule Deer “
  • Nicholas B. “Tolerance of Daphnia to Varying Water pH Levels”

9th Grade

  • Andy K. “Salinity Impact on the Growth of Marine Nannochloropsis and Freshwater Haematococcus Algae”
  • Dustin B. “Cleaning Up Copper: Investigating Mycoremediation of Copper in Water”
  • James T. “Aquatic Aliens : Examining the Effects of the Invasive Asian Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) on the Crustacean Biodiversity of Narragansett Bay’s Rocky Shores”
  • Shreyas S. “An Investigation into the Effects of Air Pollution on Lichens”

10th Grade 

  • Emma F. “Sustainable Future for Endangered Species? Predicting the Impacts of the Wilmar Policy on Bornean Orangutan Populations”
  • Jessica Y. “The Effects of Magnesium Chloride on Florida Apple Snails’ Shell Development”
  • Samarah R. “The Effect of Magnesium and Selenium on the Biomass, Growth Rate and Structure of Anabaena
  • Truth M. “Crustacean Custodians: Combating Eutrophication and Red Tide with Sustainable Population Increase of Native Crayfish and Lobsters via Aquaculture”

11th Grade

  • Benjamin S. “Using Geochemical Mapping of Marsh Foraminifera Tests to Analyze Cytoplasmic Deposition of Trace Elements”
  • Helen L. “A Step Toward Reducing Air Pollution: Understanding Soot Formation in Diesel Surrogate Fuels”
  • Kimberly B. “Struggling to Coexist: The Effects of Urbanization on Woodpecker Diversity and Foraging Site Availability”
  • Rebecca N. “Regenerating Oak Trees: The Effect of Percent Canopy Thinning on the Percent Canopy Openness and Primary and Secondary Growth of Quercus alba and Quercus rubra Seedlings”
  • Stephen B. “Two-year Study of Daily Development of Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds”
  • Sterling F. “Metal Menace: An Analysis of water Quality and Biota in Birds Creek”

12th Grade

  • Alison B. “Aqui-S®20E: optimizing dosage and analyzing behavioral responses for a possible  zero-withdrawal sedative in several marine species: Common Snook (Centropomus undecimalis), Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), and Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus)”
  • Alta D. “Conclusions from a IV Year Research Study; Ocean Acidification in Prince William Sound, Alaska”
  • Chase L. “Wolf Spiders (Tigrosa georgicola) as Indicators of Contaminant Subsidies from Aquatic to Terrestrial Food Webs”
  • Emma M. “Orangutan Interaction and Exhibit Use Study”
  • Gerrit Y. “Astronomy - New Space Travel”
  • Meagan B. “Non-invasive Analysis of Genetic Diversity Using Microsatellites and Mitochondrial DNA to identify individuals, Diet, and Minimum Number of Pumas (Puma concolor) In Sonora, Mexico”

2015 Semifinalists

7th Grade

  • Aaryamik V. “Muddy Microbes”
  • Abigail J. "Temperatures' Effect on air Molecule Movement"
  • Alex R. “The Relation Between Water Temperatures and Bush Bean Growth”
  • Alyssa P. “Fruit Ripening”
  • Anahi C. “Investigating Plant Pigments”
  • Andrew M. “A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Various Materials to Repair Damaged Plants”
  • Anjali P. “Comparison of Different Plant Soils used to Grow a Plant”
  • Arjun P. “The Effect of Different Polluntants on the Growth and Harvest of Lima Beans”
  • Benjamin V. “Alternative Light Sources and Their Effect on Clover Growth”
  • Charles B. "Comparison of Salt and Acid on the Growth of Peas"
  • Clay P. “Study of Which Light Color Causes Maximum Photosynthesis”
  • Conner C. “What Grows Grass the Tallest, Manure or Commercial Fertilizer?”
  • Dalton H. “The Myth About Moss”
  • David M. “Worms’ Preference of Light and Darkness”
  • Din J. “A Comparison of Mold Growth Development”
  • Egypt C. “Do Ladybugs Affect the Growth of Basil Plants?”
  • Emmett B. “The Effects of Saltwater on Snapdragon Flowers”
  • Ethan I. “Composition of Soil and its Effects on the Growth of Tomato Plant Seeds”
  • Hannah K. “The Effects of Air Quality on Plants in Southern California”
  • Isaiah Y. “Avocado Ailments”
  • Jack C. “What Sugars or Sugar Substitutes Feed Yeast?”
  • Jacqueline P. “How Does a Sunflower’s Position Affect its Growth?”
  • Jennifer M. “Comparison of Different Antacid Strengths”
  • Jirote J. “Neutralizing Stomach Acids”
  • Jose Maria R. “Pansies in Variable Atmospheres”
  • Kaelin A. “The Firmer the Berry... The Effect of Cow's Whey and Goat's Whey on the Decomposition of Strawberries and Blueberries – Year II”
  • Kale H. “Tree Habitats”
  • Levi C. “How Does the Type of Liquid Affect the Growth of Beans?”
  • MaddyLee A. "Do Temperature Drops Affect the Speed of Fish?"
  • Max M. “Treatment to Stop Mold Growth on Raspberries”
  • Nicole C. "Is organic Really Better?"
  • Rebekah B. “Environmental Stress and the Susceptibility of Maple Trees to Sooty Mold and Powdery Mildew”
  • Sabrina C. “Sunflowers’ Growth with Different Amounts of Sunlight”
  • Samira E: “Which Has a Higher Boiling Point?”
  • Scott S. “Food Preference of Red Harvest Ants”

8th Grade

  • Abdel R. “Does SPF Protect Skin and DNA from UV Radiation?”
  • Amaya S. “The Weathered Monarch”
  • Ameya T. “Avian City”
  • Angela C. “De-icing the Problem”
  • Annora M. “The Real Fish Experience”
  • Anupama J. “Utilizing Sodium Polyacrylate as a Soil Additive to Promote Plant Growth under Varying Patterns of Precipitation”
  • Arturo M. “Drought Effects on Salmon”
  • Benjamin G. “Relationship Between Temperature and Bacteria Growth in Environmental Waters”
  • Brandon K. “The State of Prior Lake”
  • Brian A.  “Environmental Sustainability for Eastern Bluebirds in New Jersey”
  • Carolyn F. “Using Natural Scents as Squirrel Repellent”
  • Collette H. “Fun Fishing”
  • Eeshan T.  “Breathe Easy and Carry On: Continuous Monitoring System for Indoor Air Quality and Development of a Responsive Air Cleaning System
  • Elijah S. “The Effect of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Nanoparticles on the Growth and MicroRNA Expression of the Cellulosic Biofuel Crop Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)”
  • Elise A. “How Do Paperwhites Grow Best?”
  • Gabrielah P. “How Does The Type Of Day Affect The Number Of Bald Eagles?”
  • Jack B. “Sustaining Ideal Backyard Environments for Red-bellied Woodpeckers”
  • Julia P.  “Which Types of Moss Works Best for Absorbency”
  • Lupine C. “Timing of Waterfowl Migration at the Bear River Bird Refuge”
  • Owen N. “What’s Under the Mulch?”
  • Tony M.  “How does Compost Affect the Growth of Pea Plants?”
  • Vinit M. “Mathematical Analysis of an Asteroid Impacting the Moon”
  • Zachary W. “The Decline of Chinook Salmon”

9th Grade

  • Ahn T. C.  “Effects of Different Soils on Zucchini Plants' Height”
  • Alexander H. “Comparing Ponds in and Around Plainsboro, New Jersey”
  • Alexander K. “Testing the Water Quality of the Delaware and Raritan Canal”
  • Anita G. “Pathogen Detection in Southern California Water Using a Particle Counter”
  • Ashley P. “Is My Local Hazardous Waste Site Safe?”
  • Brian B. “An Analysis of Fish Activities and Human Interference”
  • Brian S. “Wetlands: A Natural Solution to Purify Waterways Polluted by Urbanization”
  • Benjamin W. “Finding Fascinating Fungi”
  • Caroline N. “Filtering Agricultural Effluent with Fungal Mycelia, Year 2
  • Catherine K. “Pollutants From Road Runoff Found in the Delaware-Raritan Canal”
  • Chelsea C.  “A Study of the Antifouling Efficacy of Select Products in Dissuading Dreissena polymorpha from Attaching to Boat Docks in the Great Lakes Area”
  • Elizabeth P. “The Effects of Street Runoff on the Health of a Neighborhood Stream”
  • Esther C. “The Factors in the Growth and Quality of a Lichen.”
  • Liana H. “Investigation of the Delaware and Raritan Canal”
  • Michael R. "Microorganisms in Canal Water"
  • Navaya M. "Seasons Change, So do Leaves"
  • Sahar K. “Early Warning System Using Computer Science”
  • Shiv P. “Identification of Ferns in the Plainsboro Preserve”
  • Varnita P. “Birds in Plainsboro”
  • Varun S. "Comparing Man-made and Natural Aquatic Ecosystems in Fairfax County, Virginia"

10th Grade

  • Asma B. “The Effect of Different Selenium and Zinc Ratios On The Mortality and Reproduction of Brachionus plicatilis”
  • Ayisha S. “The Effect of Nutrient Fertilzers on the Growth and Development of Brissica hirta, grown Hydroponically”
  • Carla C. “The Phytoremediation of Copper ions (Cu 2+) and Iron ions (Fe3+)  using the macrophyte Lemna minor
  • Diana K. "The Effect  of UVB Radiation and Sulphur Dioxide Gas on the Growth, Vitamin C and Chlorophyll Content of Komatsuna"
  • Emily L. “The Effect of UVB radiation and Sulphur Dioxide Gas on the Growth, Vitamin C and Chlorophyll Content of Komatsuna”
  • Julieta H-S: "The Effect of Chromium Concentrations on the Avoidance Behavior of Lumbricus terrestris"
  • Juliet S. "The Effect of Iron Ions (Fe3+) and pH on the Behavior, Mobility, and Mortality of Coenobita clypeatus"
  • Lee Ann B. " The Assessment of Water Quality from the Gowanus Canal and the Effects of Nitrates and Phosphates on the Mortality of Daphnia magna"
  • Marya M-W. “The Assessment of Water Quality from the Gowanus Canal and the Effects of Nitrates and Phosphates on the Mortality of Daphnia magna
  • Nirja S. “Particle Sizes of Saturn's Rings”
  • Sabreen M.  “Algal Biofuel: Investigating the Effect of Different Fertilizers on the Cell Count and Lipid Extraction of Nannochloropsis
  • Stephanie T. “The Effect of Varying Wavelength Light on Carbon Dioxide Uptake of Spinach Plant in Stimulated Photosynthesis”
  • Theresa S. “The Effect of Boat Paint on Marine Zinc Levels”
  • Uttkarshni T. “Profitable Phytoremediation Process: Combating Eutrophication by Utilizing Excess Nutrient Pollution for Hydroponic Farming of Vetiver Grass”
  • Zachary A. “Lead Levels in Vehicular and Non-vehicular Areas”

11th Grade

  • Amy D. “The Effect of Spices on E. coli
  • Amy P. “The Effect of Water Temperature on the Mussel's Byssal Thread Protein Composition”
  • Anna H. “Coquerel’sSifaka Behavior Study”
  • Annabelle S. “The Effect of Triclosan, a Personal Care Product, on Fresh Water Algae in Different Types of Lakes”
  • Blandon S. “Assessing The Influence of Swamp Areas on Rangeland Stream Flow Rate at Blair Wallis, Wyoming”
  • Brian O. “Spatial Variability and Contributions Affecting Relative Sea Level Change Along the North American East Coast”
  • Hyungjun Y. “Differences in Shell Strengths of Eastern Mud Snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta) May Determine the Diets of Jamaica Bay and Oyster Bay Diamondback Terrapins”
  • Ivy L.  “The Epigenetic Effect of Stimulants on Drosophila melanogaster
  • Jacqueline F. “The Fault in Our Sea Stars”
  • Jen M. “Determining the Impact of Invasive Plants, Japanese Knotweed and Japanese Stiltgrass on the Eastern Redbacked Salamander”
  • Jennifer A. “The Analysis of Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Agents in Comparison to Dawn Detergent in Removing Hazardous Oil from the Feathers of Four Species of Birds”
  • Jeremy R. “Documenting the Abundance of Suburban Wildlife in the Irvington Woods Through Camera Traps”
  • Jeremy S. “Quantifying the Spatial Variability of Trace Metals in Long Island, NY Barrier Beach Island Salt Marsh Sediments”
  • Katelyn B. "Climate Change Threatens Marine Ecosystems- How Rising Sea Surface Temperature and Altered Nutrient Availability Impact the Abundance and Growth Behavior of Phytoplankton"
  • Kiran G. “Tracing The Genetic Basis For Phenotypic Plasticity of Body Depth in Malaw Cichlids”
  • Madison M. “The Nesting Preferences in Eastern Bluebirds”
  • Neehar B.  “An A-peel-ing New Water Filtration Method: Using Ground Orange Peels in the Biosorption of Iron (Fe 3+)”
  • Pratima R. “The Effects of High Temperature on Symbiont Coral Densities”
  • Robin P. “Batch Adsorption of Heavy Metals onto Chai Tea Residues for the Bioremediation of Industrial Runoffs”
  • Samuel K. “Effects of Varying pH on Feeding Rates of Juvenile Mytilus edulis, the Blue Mussel”
  • Shriya G. “Determining the Optimal Range of Light Intensity at which Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Maximizes its Carbon Concentrating Mechanism: Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle”
  • Tristen W. “The Effect of PERC and TCE on Parkinson Rate in D. melanogaster

12th Grade

  • Abby W. “The Potential of Cellulosic Ethanol Production from Areas of Sorghum, Switch Grass, and Backyard Grass”
  • Aisha A. “The Effect of the Deletion of the tklA Gene on the Normal Cell Signaling and Formation of Fruiting Bodies in D. discoideum
  • Angelica D. “The Behavioral Effects of Anthropogenic Noise in Goldfish (Carassius auratus) in Regard to Temporary Threshold Shift”
  • Arthur I. “A Geological Analysis of the Depositional Environment of Beach Sand Deposits: Robert Moses State Park, Long Island, New York”
  • Catherine C. “A Novel Approach to Sustainable Water Purification: Providing Safe Drinking Water to Developing Countries”
  • Ciarra R. “Effects of Pollution on Plants”
  • Daniel K. “Utilizing MATLAB to Implement a Predicted Zone to Detect Sun Oriented Celestial Bodies”
  • Deborah A. “Comparing phenotypic variation in the social behavior of the spider Anelosimus studiosus at similar latitudes but different longitudes”
  • Deepak S. “The Effect of Various Concentrations of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) on the Growth of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Deepika K. “Novel Photocatalytic Pervious Composites for Purifying Water”
  • Enrique G. “Physical and Geochemical Analyses of Beach Sands in an Attempt to Understand the Effects of Erosion by Super Storm Sandy: Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island, NY”
  • Farrell L. “California Sea Lion Animal Behavior Study”
  • Gabrielle M. "The Relationship Between Temperature and the Hatching Rate of Limulus polyphemus"
  • Grant G. “Functional Regulation of Dendritic Cells by Estrogen”
  • Grant T.B. “Effects of Early Mdewakanton Dakota settlement patterns on the Ecology of Mde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) in Minneapolis, MN”
  • Hannah H. “Using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a Bioremediation Agent in Contaminated Water”
  • Indira R. “Cranberry Extracts: A Quorum Sensing Inhibitor and the Novel Application of Cranberry Extracts as an Environmental Measure to Inhibit Pectobacterium carotovorum in Crops”
  • Isabel A. “Can a Healthy Stream Thrive Without a Healthy Riparian Zone?”
  • Janelle M. “Testing the Mislabeling of Fish Using DNA Barcoding”
  • Jassmeen K. Metagenomic analysis of coelomic fluid and gut microbiomes of the sea star, Patiria miniata
  • Jennifer H. “Diverse Evolutionary Pathways of Osmo-heterotrophic Protists”
  • Jett C. “Iontophoretic Inactivation of Freshwater Bacteria via Electric Current”
  • Jihyun Lily L. “The Cleanliness of Water in Lafayette Hill”
  • Kaitlin B. “What is the Desiccation Tolerance of Antarctica Fungi?”
  • Kaitlin W. “A comparison of the populations of the endangered plant species Amaranthus pumilus on Sandy Hook from 2000 to 2014”
  • Karsten S. “Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Preference for Colonization on Macrophytes in Lake Minnetonka, MN”
  • Kevin C. “A Comparison of Genetic Diversity Within Ex Situ Collections of Brighamia insignis To Aid Restoration Efforts”
  • Kevin R. “Denitrification of Long Island's Drinking Water”
  • Kylinn A. “Truly Vegetarian? Using DNA Barcoding to Detect the Possible Contamination of Vegetarian Products”
  • Kyra J. “The Role of the Riparian Buffer on the Qualtiy of Water in Tookany Creek”
  • Lauren O. “A Comparison of Various Natural Fertilizers on Soil Quality and Growth of Glycine max in a Stress-free Environment”
  • Leilani G. “Urban Avifaunal Diversity: An Indicator of Anthropogenic Pressures in Northwestern Metropolitan Atlanta”
  • Lucy L. “Degradation of TPH-Diesel in Soil through Mycoremediation”
  • Luke O. “How safe are our water supplies? Impacts of Biomagnification of the Antibiotic Triclosan”
  • Madelyn S. “The Effects of Temperature on Shortnose Sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus)”
  • Maluba M. “The Effect of Selected Spices Piper nigrum (black pepper), Allium sativum (garlic powder), Cinnamomum cassia (cinnamon), and Cuminum cyminum (cumin) on Bacterial Growth in Yogurt”
  • Maria M. “Comparing Tuckermannopsis chrolophylla - A Proposed New Species for Southeastern Alaska”
  • Matthew R. “The Effects of Contaminants on the Early Life Stages of Short Nose (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic (A. oxyrynchus) Sturgeon”
  • Meredith A. “The Activity Levels of Black-tailed Prairie Dogs in the Morning and Afternoon”
  • Michael R. “Microorganisms in Canal Water”
  • Mirza A. “The Effect of Caffeinated Beverages on the Memory of Dugesia tigrina
  • Mohini J. “The Effect of Added Phosphate on the Biosynthesis of Vitamin C through the L-galactose Pathway in Inorganically and Organically Fertilized Hydroponic Spinach”
  • Monique P. “Kinematics of the Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) During Courtship Rituals”
  • Muhammad A. “Chamber Analysis of Monk Parakeet Nests”
  • Natalie G. “The Effect of an Experimental Oil Spill on Hudson River Microbes”
  • Navaya M. “Seasons Change, So Do Leaves”
  • Nicholas C. “Geospatial Modeling to Predict Potential Natural Range Expansion of the Eastern Coyote, Canis latrans, in Suffolk County, New York”
  • Nicole G. “Is Methylcobalamin (B12) Responsible for Mutagenesis in Drosophila melanogaster?”
  • Olivia K. “Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA of the Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) to Assess the Frequency of Micro-mutations Related to Site Contamination”
  • Olivia S. “A Population Study of Sterna hirundo on The Great Gull Island: A Comparison of Early and Late Hatching Chicks Versus Early and Late Nesting Adults
  • Rachel M. “The Effect of Glyphosate, Atrazine, and 2,4-D on Dissolved Oxygen Levels in Nannochloropsis oculata
  • Sagar S. “The Effect of Atmospheric Conditions on the Amount of Insolation in Bethpage, NY”
  • Sindhu A. “Determining the Optimal Parameters for the Efficiency and Stability of the Flavylium Ion in a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell”
  • Sita S. “How does Cigarette Butt Litter Impact Organisms in our Environment?”
  • Sonam P. “Biodegradable Plastics”
  • Susan H. “Analysis of the Pedal Morphology of the Early Primate Notharctus tenebrosus with Implications  for Reconstruction of Locomotor Mode”
  • Suzan E. “The Ratio of Males to Females Limulus polyphemus in the Sandy Hook Bay-Raritan Bay Complex in 2014”
  • Tara E. “The Comparison of Winter Flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) Larval Otolith Microstructure to Biotic and Abiotic factors within Barnegat Bay Estuary”
  • Theresa A. “The Correlation Between the Density of Visitor Traffic To Beaches per Day and Average Fledge Rates of Charadrius melodus in Gateway National Recreation Area, New Jersey”
  • Tori H. “The Role of Thermoregulation and Sexual Selection on Secondary Sexual Characteristics in the Male Fiddler Crabs (Uca panacea and Uca pugilator)”
  • Wen Li W. “Remediation of Contaminated Soil in Urban Environments with Pleurotus ostreatus and Microorganisms”
  • Yukie W. “Seasonal Variation in Group Size of Monk Parakeets”

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