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Jordan Young 

Jordan is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto Mississauga with a double major in Paleontology and Earth Sciences and a minor in Biomedical Communications. Jordan received an Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC USRA), providing him the opportunity to spend the summer working with Professor Marc Laflamme, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences.

Jordan constructed 3D models of early Cambrian “sponges”, known as Archaeocyaths, using a software called Blender. He then imported those models into another software called COMSOL  to explore how water would flow through the sponges and to understand how their varying morphologies and architectures affected the method and quality of their filter-feeding. 

Jordan’s NSERC USRA provided him the time and space to further develop his research skills. He appreciated the opportunity to learn and improve his skills with Blender, as he had found it challenging to learn the ins and outs of this software on his own. Jordan also improved his ability to pull relevant information from scientific articles and work independently– this research area was new to him, and it was a learning experience to figure out how and where to start gaining knowledge on this new subject. However, Jordan realized the importance of collaboration in research. Everyone working on the project held different areas of knowledge and that, “by having weekly meetings and progress reports it really ensured everyone was on the same page, knew what they had to do, and could provide any new information or consideration we needed to hear.”

Jordan hopes to continue his path in research by producing scientific illustrations and fossil reconstructions using 3D software to better understand the form and functions of extinct animals.

Research Type(s): Research Fellowships / Studentships