Huntington senior Annabella Matheus participated in this year’s Long Island natural history conference at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton.
Local naturalists converged on BNL’s Berkner Hall to discuss their current research projects and educate the audience on their specialized topics. This marked the seventh annual conference sponsored by the Long Island Nature Organization.
Huntington High School senior Annabella Matheus.
Ms. Matheus is a longtime participant in Huntington’s science research program. She plans to pursue studies in neuroscience at Grinnell College in Iowa on a full scholarship.
The senior has interned and worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, interned at the Harvard psychiatry neuroimaging lab and also interned at the Columbia medical labs. Ms. Matheus participated in Harvard’s extension summer program.
“The Long Island natural history conference was an amazing experience where I was given the opportunity to listen to the research of other naturalists on Long Island and fully appreciate their conservation efforts for the island I hold very near and dear to my heart,” Ms. Matheus said. “The experience has made me more conscious of my carbon footprint and the power I have to change that. Going into the future I will now be more conscious of my environmental impact and more aware of how to make the change towards a greener tomorrow.”
Ms. Matheus has been on the Blue Devil fencing and volleyball teams, participated in the high school’s Relay For Life and won first place in the STEAM makerspace competition. A semifinalist in the Japan Center essay contest, the teenager is a QuestBridge finalist, president of the Chinese Cultural Club and a Huntington UFSD dual language program graduate. She was president of the high school orchestra.
Held over two days, this year’s Long Island natural history conference was attended by a crowd of more than 400 naturalists. Speakers covered the gamut of project specialization. Long Island high school science research students shared their projects in a brief poster session.
Some of the featured presentations included:
- A General Overview of the Current Eastern Wild Turkey Population: The presentation focused on current research, regulations and future management. Previous conservation efforts of native Long Island turkeys was discussed along with their rapid population growth in recent years due to diligent efforts,
- Conservation Update: Southern Pine Beetle, Oak Wilt and Gypsy Moths: The presentation highlighted harmful threats to Long Island forests and preventative procedures to help minimize their impact and spread.
- Great Ferns I Have Known: The presentation included an extensive discussion of fern species, how to identify different ferns and the documentation of rare fauna exclusive to Long Island.
“Long Island is the largest island in the continental U.S. and a unique biogeographical region located at the northern limits of many southern species of flora and fauna and at the southern limits of many northern species,” according to Long Island Nature Organization. “These features contribute to rich species diversity. Some of the island’s preserved areas contain the highest number of rare species per area in New York State.”
(Huntington senior Annabella Matheus contributing reporting to this story.