Talk about excellence- 13 year old Lauren Arrington has just graduated from sixth grade. However, she crosses all the preconceptions of the intelligence of children her age- her most recent experiment showed her keen interest on science and impressed even veteran scientist like her dad, who has a PhD in fish ecology.
The lionfish, an invasive species that has been invading Florida’s coastal waters and pushing out other vulnerable marine is the study decided by Arrington for her recent science project. She has seen her fair share of lionfish while growing up snorkelling and fishing near her home in Jupiter, Fla.
Outfitted with an elaborate structure and feather-like mane, a poisonous spine and outrageous striped colouring, the magnificent lionfish doesn’t belong here.
Its existence wasn’t clear where it belonged – or more accurately, where it goes. Arrington tested the lionfish’s tolerance for desalinized water with a view to know how far up coastal rivers the invader might travel.
“Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean,” Arrington explained. “So I was like, ‘Well, hey guys, what about the river?'”
Arrington’s experiment proved it that lionfish could thrive in 6 parts per 1000 whereas her dad guessed the lionfish could withstand an environment with a salinity of 12 parts.
Craig Layman, an ecology professor at North Caroline State University, replicated and confirmed the experiment of Arrington. The science journal Environmental Biology of Fishes published the findings earlier this year. Acknowledgements were mentioned by Arrington, the budding scientist were thrilling.