STEPHENVILLE, Texas —Tarleton State University senior biology major Shady Kuster recently presented her research findings at an online symposium. She was one of 13 students nationwide to participate in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates at the Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia.


Shady’s research focuses on detecting recombination events between betacoronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Recombination is where two related viruses co-infect a host cell and interchange segments of their genomes, resulting in a new viral strain.


Because of COVID-19, student participants did not travel to the Georgia campus. Instead, they worked remotely with their mentors.


Shady plans to graduate in December. During the fall semester, she will continue her genetics research in the laboratory of Dr. Russell Pfau.