Seminar Series in Biology to feature Sarah Newtown

On Friday, Feb. 23, the Seminar Series in Biology will feature “The Hidden World of Meiofauna” presented by Sarah Newtown, an MS student in the Biology Department at SUNY Oneonta. The seminar will take place at 4 p.m. in Science 1, room 121.

In this presentation, Sarah will discuss meiofauna, or the meiobenthos, which are interstitial organisms that can be found in marine and freshwater environments. This polyphyletic group includes organisms such as rotifers, nematodes, copepods and oligochaetes. Meiofauna have been documented globally, but trends in latitudinal distribution and diversity are unknown due to limited taxonomic information for tropical species.

In order to learn more about the organisms found locally, a series of surveys were conducted in Oneonta Creek during the summer and fall of 2017. Sediment samples were collected in order to begin compiling a list of species in the creek. Conductivity, salinity, temperature, total dissolved solids and pH were measured to determine whether they affect the distribution of meiofauna within the creek.

This informational talk will discuss the history of the meiofauna, adaptations for life in the sediment, their place and purpose within a freshwater environment, as well as the results of the surveys conducted last year.

Sarah graduated from Canton College of Technology with an Associates in Liberal Arts in General Studies in 2012. She continued her studies at SUNY Oneonta and in 2015 she earned her BS in Biology. Subsequent to completing her BS ,she began her MS at SUNY Oneonta. Sarah has completed research on early detection of invasive species in Brant Lake.  In 2015, she co-authored a “Survey of zooplankton in Brant Lake, Horicon, New York” with A.J. Reyes for the Biology Field Station.


The Seminar Series in Biology is offered several times throughout the semester to provide our student community with opportunities to learn about scientific research and professions. Speakers may include our own department faculty or students, as well as biologists and other professionals from elsewhere. All are welcome.