Mr. Mark Steinmiller
Academic Department: Biology
Graduation Year: 2013
Mark Steinmiller, a Biology graduate with a marine biology concentration, and a minor in Biological Diving, was researching the ability of Tridacna derasa clams to lower the potentially toxic nutrients, phosphate and nitrate, in aquarium settings. The simplest way to reduce these nutrients was to partially change the water in the aquarium. If T. derasa clams could significantly reduce these nutrients, it could have been possible to use T. derasa to reduce the number of water changes necessary to maintain an aquarium. Dr. Devonna Sue Morra advised the project, which constitutes his Honor’s Senior Thesis.
Mark became quite the world traveler. He traveled to Australia for Dr. Morra’s Natural History of Australia class, Crystal River, Florida for Manatee Ecology, and St. Lucia for Research Diver Methods.
Mark was the president of the SCUBA club, and was a member of the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society and the Saint Francis “Deep Friars” Ultimate Frisbee club. He also volunteered his time as a dive master, assisting Open Water SCUBA diving students in the pool and on their training dives.
In the Summer of 2013, he interned at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium where he learned to work as an aquarist. He will be applying to the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society for their Rolex Scholarship. This scholarship grants the scholar one year of hands-on experience from the leaders in underwater fields across the United States, and potentially, around the world. Barring that, he will be seeking a job in a zoo or aquarium following graduation and looking at grad school after gaining real world experience.