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Citadel News Service
9 Sep 2008

Cadet Maslowski presents research at major conference

It's all in the feathers. The longer they are atop the rockhopper penguin’s head the better its chances of finding a mate. At least that is the theory being tested by Cadet Holly Maslowski, '09, and her biology professor Paul Nolan.

Cadet Holly Maslowski, right, attended the biennial meeting of the International Society for Behavorial Ecology Aug. 9-15 in Ithaca, N.Y., where she presented research on the rockhopper penguin.
In December 2006, Maslowski and Nolan traveled to Pebble Island in the British Falklands at the southern tip of South America. There, they observed a rockhopper penguin colony and collected data for their research. That trip led Maslowski to Cornell University this past summer where she presented the research to leaders in the field. 

With financial support from the Citadel Foundation and the Biology Department, Maslowski and Nolan attended the biennial meeting of the International Society for Behavorial Ecology Aug. 9-15 in Ithaca, N.Y. Along with biology’s Alix Darden, they are co-authors on a research poster presentation entitled "Feather plumes may be sexually selected in rockhopper penguins, Eudyptes chrysocome."

Maslowski presented the poster alongside internationally renowned scientists responsible for some of the theories she and Nolan are testing. She was one of only a handful of college undergraduates at the meeting of 1,100 scientists.

“People were blown away when they found out she wasn't a Ph.D. student. She was elbow to elbow with the biggest names in the field and did a great job of presenting and defending our research,” Nolan said. “Attending this conference was a great leadership development opportunity for Holly and she represented The Citadel with professionalism and great pride.”

"I'm very grateful to The Citadel Foundation and the Biology Department for the travel funding that made this possible,” Nolan said.

To read more about the penguin research, click here.  

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