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UNG biology student receives avian research grant

Heather Korey’s undergraduate research involves observing, recording and analyzing diseases in migratory birds.

Heather Korey, a student specializing in avian biology at the University of North Georgia (UNG), has received a $982 grant for undergraduate research from the Georgia Ornithological Society (GOS).

The grant offers support for undergraduate research in ornithology and is awarded based on the need and merit of the applicant’s proposal. Korey’s research will observe, record and analyze diseases in migratory birds.

During the fall 2016 semester, she collected samples from Panola Mountain Bird Banding Station at the Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge, Georgia for her research titled "Infectious Disease Survey of Migratory Birds." The samples came from 19 different species and 110 individual birds that seasonally pass through that region of the state.

Linda Purvis, biology and poultry science lecturer at UNG and Dawn Lubeski, senior lecturer in biology, worked alongside Korey to provide their professional and academic knowledge towards her research.

"I am honored to have my undergraduate research funded by a great organization like GOS," said Korey. "I am looking forward to seeing what results this research yields and how it may contribute to the understanding of some diseases in the wild birds here in Georgia."

This winter, she will also sample additional avian specimen housed in the UNG Natural History Museum on the Gainesville Campus. She plans to analyze her samples individually and comparatively during the spring 2017 semester through the use of standard nucleic acid extraction techniques.

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