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UNF student presents biology research at leading conference

Kennedi Light, UNF student, standing and smiling next to a large outdoor telescopeKennedi Light, a UNF student majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology with a minor in physics, is presenting her research at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting this week in Phoenix, Ariz.

Light is an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Frank Smith’s tardigrade lab and her research focuses on gut development in tardigrades. Understanding these microscopic creatures can help shed light on their ancestor's evolutionary development and diverse body plans.

Light has been intrigued by the possibility of life on different planets since she was a child. This passion led her to pursue astrobiology, the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe.

After graduation, Light hopes to work with the NASA Astrobiology Program to conduct field research on extremophiles and their environments to predict what type of life could be on other planets. She is particularly interested in projects dealing with Saturn's moons, Titan and Enceladus.