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LD 12 - Legislator Leslie Kennedy

Posted on: July 30, 2018

Kennedy Honors Young Women Scientists

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July 17, 2018 – Last Tuesday Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) had the opportunity to meet with and congratulate three brilliant young women in her community. The Legislator invited Madison Tutone, Caitlin Tucker, and Kaya Manolt to the General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature so that they could be honored for their research project.

Though these girls are still in High School at Sachem North, they have undertaken a research project titled “The Effect of Vegetated Buffer Zones on Aquatic Biodiversity,” they worked with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for the Barcode Long Island program. The project tested mans impact on the biodiversity of ponds. The young women tested two ponds, one with a vegetative buffer from human development and another without a buffer.

The girls found that there was greater biodiversity in the pond that had a vegetative buffer, however the water quality of the pond with a buffer suggests that even with the buffer the pond was negatively impacted by human development close by. In addition to the main finding of their study, they were also able to add new information to the GenBank, meaning they discovered unique elements in DNA strands that had not yet been recorded by other scientists.

 “I am so proud of these young women who have undertaken serious scientific work, and I am confident that this is just the beginning of what they will add to scientific research,” said Legislator Leslie Kennedy. “I find it refreshing that these young women are interested in the field and our environment and have already made significant discoveries and contributions.”

For more information about this event or other events in the community, feel free to call our office at (631)-854-3735 or log onto Legislator Kennedy’s Facebook page at

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