Work by Bob Wallace, two students published in journal Hydrobiologia

Bob Wallace, professor emeritus of biology at Ripon College, and two students recently had research published in the journal Hydrobiologia. Samara Kusztyb ’22, a native of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and Warren Januszkiewicz ’24, a native of South Africa, assisted with the research for the paper “Does ‘form follow function’ in the rotiferan genus Keratella?” during the 2022 Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR) program.

Hydrobiologia is the international journal of aquatic sciences, publishing 21 peer-reviewed issues per year.

Wallace says he assists his summer students on their research while maintaining the guiding role. “I start out paying a lot of attention to the students at the beginning of our research,” he says, “but once they get their feet off the ground, I want to treat them as beginning graduate students. It’s the idea that they need to take ownership on a project, but they can always come to me if they have a problem.”

Kusztyb graduated magna cum laude with a major in biology and a minor in English. She says the experience was enlightening. “It helped me gain an understanding and helped create a foundation and idea as to what a career in science would be like,” she says. “We were taught how to use various research devices as well as programs that, prior to doing this research, I would have likely not been exposed to. It gave me experience with different scientific tools as well as being able to actively work in different styles of research and testing.”

She says she also learned how to think critically and, when exposed to a new device or a process, how to approach them and be able to quickly become proficient. “If given the opportunity, I would like to be able to pursue future research opportunities,” she says. “It really feels kind of cool to know that I was able to help progress the world of science in general as well as myself through something like research. I know that I’m making a difference in myself as well as to the community which I am working in.”

Kusztyb is a biomanufacturing assistant with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in Madison, Wisconsin.

Januszkiewicz is majoring in chemistry-biology.

Wallace says the rewards of working closely with students are “to see the lights go on in students’ eyes and them to get excited about things — even when they go off and do different things other than in my field. With the summer students, you get to know them more in a different way. At that point, you see them as an individual rather than someone sitting in the classroom.”

(Photo: Top, Samara Kusztyb ’22 and Bob Wallace; bottom, Warren Januszkiewicz ’24

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