Brian D. Bush
School of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental Science - Honors
Excelling in the Honors Program, Brian Bush has worked in the Stream and River Ecology Lab with Dr. Mazeika Sullivan since his freshman year, both as a research technician and as an Honors student conducting his own independent research.
Doing field research during his initial year gave Brian first-hand exposure to the real-world applications of his chosen field of study. Instead of reading about stream ecology or water quality sampling in a book, he was able to see it all in person and build a strong foundation, which made all of his higher-level classes during his junior and senior years that much more engaging. While Brian’s tech work has focused on many different aspects of stream ecology research, it has included studying the effects of artificial light at night on stream ecosystems, the results of dam removal on trophic dynamics, and the outcomes of various rare stream fish reintroduction projects. Currently, his Honors project is analyzing the impact of the reintroduction of the Bluebreast Darter to the Licking River on the resident native fish assemblage. This research opportunity has been the centerpiece of Brian’s college career.
Virtually presenting his research at the Society for Freshwater Sciences conference this past summer was the first time Brian truly felt like a scientist. Prior to this it had been easy for Brian to feel like an imposter who didn’t actually know that much about his field. But when he was presenting his research poster, he had so many different distinguished faculty members across the country compliment his work and speak to him like a fellow scientist, instead of just a student. This really helped him become more confident in himself and not just view his successes in college as happenstance, but rather as things that he had worked hard for, and that he deserved to be there!
Brian has recognized Dr. Maceika Sullivan as his Ohio State mentor. Brian says, “Mazeika has been my research advisor for over two years now and has given me lots of perspective on what I want to do with my career moving forward. He’s also provided me with so many different connections to people and opportunities that it’s hard to think about where my prospects would be without his help.”
Brian’s most enjoyable experiences since arriving at Ohio State have come through his participation in activities with the Mountaineers, an outdoor adventure club that he has been involved with since his sophomore year. Mountaineers has given him memories and friendships to last (or cherish for) a lifetime, while hiking, climbing, and exploring the outdoors together. It has also strengthened Brian’s resolve in working in his field because enjoying natural places has made him want to work even harder to protect them!
After graduation, Brian plans on attending grad school, either this upcoming fall or the next, to continue conducting freshwater ecology research.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Sierra Club Student Coalition, vice president | Mountaineers Club | Peer Mentor | SENR Ambassador