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Jules Manfreda

Jules Manfreda


Solvang School

Grade Level: 

Junior High

Teaching Position: 



Todd Oakley


Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology


Ajna Rivera

Research Project Year: 


Research Project Title: 

Ostracod Eye Evolution

Research Project Description: 

This research project focuses on evolutionary eye development in male vs. female Ostracods specifically Euphilomedes morini. Genes involved (opsin, glass, toy, hh, and wnt) are being isolated.

Ostracods are Metazoans belonging to the phylum Arthropoda, and class crustacia. They are small, measuring about 1mm in length. There are some 65,000 species, with about 13,000 having been named. They live in the upper layer of the sea floor. While being genetically similar, males develop compound eye structures while females do not. Many molecular biology techniques were used during this research including RNA extraction, PCR, RT-PCR, Q-PCR, gel extraction, cloning and sequencing.

The genes involved in vision are common amongst most organisms with vision structures. Understanding which genes are expressed in different organisms and whether those genes are producing functioning proteins, can lead to an evolutionary understanding of where organisms evolved differently and why.

Research Project Attachments: 

Curriculum Project Year: 


Curriculum Project Title: 

Evolving from Lab to Lessons

Curriculum Project Description: 

These curriculum activities are intended to enhance student learning, understanding, and interest. They are designed to promote higher thinking by allowing students to analyze, evaluate, and create. The curriculum focuses on The History of Life on Earth and includes: Power Point Presentations, Computer Lab Activities, Hands On Lab Activities, Group Activities, Video/Internet Activities, Teacher Resources, and Assessments. Some activities have been modified for English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs.

Curriculum Project Attachments: 

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