Hello! My name is Maddie Butterfield, I am a student at the University of South Dakota. This blog is to document the work done this summer as I work through a UDiscover fellowship provided by USD. I work in the ecology lab of Dr. Jake Kerby and am a part of the Kerby Lab’s project to survey false map turtle populations along Lake Oahe in South Dakota. My personal UDiscover project is sampling and analyzing for the presence and viral load of the ectothermic virus, Ranavirus; as well as presence and bacterial load of the bacterial species Serratia marsescens within the microbial community in the gut of these turtles. A correlational analysis will be completed among these two factors, with interest into changes in correlation due to variables such as age, sex, location along Lake Oahe, or hydrology (flowing rivers vs. dammed rivers). Additionally, as a member of the D1 USD Women’s Soccer team, I will be documenting my summer training for the upcoming season and how research and soccer coincide. Check back frequently to see how things progress!