Rohit Kalvakaalva Receives LSU Discover Summer 2018 Research Grant

May 31, 2018
By: Nicole Butler 

Rohit Kalvakaalva, coastal environmental sciences undergraduate at CC&E, has been chosen as a Summer 2018 winner of the LSU Discover Undergraduate Research Award. This award is given to undergraduate students at LSU with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Picture of Rohit doing field work 

With the help of his mentor, Michael Polito, assistant professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Kalvakaalva has been working on a National Science Foundation funded project studying potential shifts in penguin and seal diets. He is researching the isotopic values of penguin and seal tissues over a 500-year period to help identify whether there has been a dietary shift between ancient and modern penguins and seals on the Danger Islands off the coast of Antarctica.

 Professional headshot of Rohit

Then, he will compare his results to previous studies done in other locations to determine the extent to which these species’ diets and foraging ecologies may have been influenced by ecological stressors, such as climate change and seal and whale harvesting.


Kalvakaalva has been working on this project for two years and, with the funding provided by this award, he hopes to finish preparation and data analysis of all samples this summer.