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Simmi Bharvani, a senior psychology and biology major with a focus on pre-med from Racine, Wis., spent the first few weeks of her summer in Braunschweig, Germany, conducting research at Lake Stadtgraben. The project involved collecting data to determine if there would be an algae bloom this year, and researching the circadian rhythms of Cyanobacteria.
While studying the circadian rhythms of Cyanobacteria, Bharvani found that they, just like humans, can get sunburned. She learned that around noon, when the sun is the highest, the Cyanobacteria go toward the lower levels of the water and at dusk they come up to photosynthesize.
"It was amazing to learn about something so different" Bharvani said. "I would have never considered learning about algae in such great detail if it wasn't for the research."
While in Germany, Bharvani also took computer classes where she learned about robotics and how to help with image processing. She returned from Germany in early June, but her summer academic adventures were far from over. June 17, Bharvani left for Stanford University where she received a scholarship to work on a human rights certificate program.