The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Kirsten Bauer in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Kirsten Bauer is a senior Integrated Environmental Sciences major at Longwood University. Kirsten has been conducting aquatic ecology research at Longwood for three years and she has worked on a variety of projects related to aquatic science. Most recently, she participated in Longwood’s summer PRISM research program conducting a "big data" project in which she helped analyze publicly available data for possible connections between water quality and fish population dynamics in Briery Creek and Sandy River Reservoirs, Farmville, VA. Kirsten first became involved in this research with Dr. Dina Leech because “my ultimate aspiration is to work in the field as a research scientist. I knew that working on an independent research project would not only make me a competitive applicant for graduate school and career opportunities, but it would also allow me to gain transferrable skills and invaluable experience.”

Kirsten says that “participating in research has been one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. It has enriched my academics, connected me with an incredible community of scholars, and challenged me in such a way that I have fallen in love with learning like never before.” Her favorite part of research was “networking and meeting likeminded people who share my same passions and interests has definitely been one of my favorite components of doing research. Additionally, one of my favorite parts is knowing that I have been making valuable contributions to important current scientific discourse, which impacts and informs the lives of others.”

The most important lesson she learned while conducting research was that “failure, setbacks, and mistakes are an essential part of not only research but growth in general; things often don’t follow a linear path. Research has helped me further cultivate attributes within myself, such as perseverance, drive, and determination, which I will carry with me as I continue to progress in research and in life.”

Kirsten will present her research at the Association for the Science of Limnology and Oceanography virtual conference in June 2021. Additionally, she is working on writing a manuscript detailing her project and findings which she hopes to submit to a fisheries journal later this year. Kirsten was also recently received the Outstanding Senior in Integrated Environmental Sciences Award.

Congratulations to Kirsten on her success!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or