Tiffany Pham ’20



Project Title

Coral Reef Nutrient Cycling: A Stable Isotope of the Bermuda Reefs

Presentation Link

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I helped study the relationship and nutrient dynamics between Bermuda corals and their algal symbionts under different light and feeding conditions. I was responsible for processing coral samples, then testing their algal-symbiont and chlorophyll content. Corals were processed by thawing them, homogenizing them in seawater, then centrifuging the samples and separating the coral tissue from the symbionts. To determine symbiont content, the samples were analyzed under a microscope and the numbers of algal symbionts were recorded. Then, the samples were analyzed with a fluorometer to carry out the chlorophyll count, specifically for chlorophyll a. The data were then analyzed in the context of different light and feeding conditions. This internship was essential for gaining experience in wet-lab research and for getting a taste of a career in research. I am truly grateful to both PEI and my mentor, [Princeton graduate student] Victoria Luu, for making this experience possible.

* This internship is connected to the PEI Water and the Environment Grand Challenges project, “Coral Nitrogen Isotopes as a Recorder of Natural and Human-Driven Changes in the Nutrient Conditions of Oceanic Surface .”

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Oceans


Department of Geosciences, Princeton University


Daniel Sigman, Dusenbury Professor of Geological and Geophysical Sciences and Professor of Geosciences