Arjun Ramamurti, Lexington High School, Lexington, Massachusetts
New England Region Silver Medal Winner
Exploring the Guenon Mystery: An Evolutionary Analysis Using Phylogenetic Trees
In his biology project, Arjun Ramamurti combined multiple methodologies to help unravel the mystery of how guenon monkeys evolved. His research could increase the likelihood that some day we will understand how species (including man) evolve over long periods of time as their genetic makeup and behavior adapt to changes in the environment. Mr. Ramamurti conceived his project after reading an article in Discover Magazine that claimed the evolution of the guenon monkey was tremendously complex. His research involved phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences for sixteen guenon species and positing a potential path of migration for the guenon out of Central Africa over the last one million years. His mentor was Dr. Susan Offner, a biology teacher at Lexington High School.
Arjun Ramamurti, a senior, is fluent in Tamil and Spanish. He won Second Place in the 2005 Massachusetts State Science Fair and Honorable Mention at the same event in 2006. A highly accomplished cellist who has studied privately at the New England Conservatory for nine years, Mr. Ramamurti has served as assistant principal cellist with the Massachusetts All-State Orchestra and principal cellist with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Repertory Orchestra. He spent six weeks this past summer in Tambaram, India teaching English to 5-7 graders. A member of the National Honor Society, he enjoys reading, baseball and basketball.