The Lumberjack student newspaper
Matt Davis, a HSU general biology major. Photo by Bryan Donoghue

Voices of student science


By Bryan Donoghue


Voices of student science aims to highlight individual Humboldt State students majoring within the widespread realm of the sciences.


Thomas McBrinn, a HSU fisheries biology major. Photo provided Thomas McBrinn.

Thomas McBrinn is a junior fisheries biology major with an emphasis on freshwater fish. McBrinn grew up in Lompoc, California, within Santa Barbara County.

McBrinn chose his major for a couple of reasons.

“One, is because I’ve been an angler since I was a kid, and it’s me and my father’s favorite thing to do,” McBrinn said. “It got me fascinated in biology and fish specifically at a young age. I’m also an all-around outdoorsman with a respect for all life.”

McBrinn is working in an independent study with three other students at the HSU marine lab where they are breeding and rearing ornamental fish. McBrinn and his colleagues practice raising ornamental fish, which are species typically found inside a home aquarium.  

“I hope to in some way increase the love and respect everyone should have for mother nature,” McBrinn said. “And to help preserve the gorgeous gifts this world has to offer, so generations to come can enjoy its beauty too.”


Matt Davis, a HSU general biology major. Photo | Bryan Donoghue

Matthew Davis is a junior general biology major who was raised in Modesto, California.

Biology has always captivated Davis’s interest.

“There’s just something about living things that gets me excited,” Davis said.

Davis references universal entropy, which the Institution of Creation Research defines as, “indicating that the whole universe of matter is running down, and ultimately will reduce itself to uniform chaos.“

“The existence of any type of life actively defies the fundamental concept of universal entropy,” Davis said. “Natural order states that things then should become less ordered and more chaotic, but as life develops, it becomes inherently more structured, and hierarchical.”

Davis goes to Trinidad twice a week for his invertebrate zoology class. He finds the class to be rewarding since he works with live specimens of species he’s learning about.

“I would never be able to identify Anthopleura Elegantissima [known as aggregating anemone] if I hadn’t witnessed them utilizing their acrorhagi [tentacles] right before my very eyes.”

Davis hopes to use his diploma to get hired into research jobs so he can sustain himself without the help of his parents.

“All I want is to be able to live my life without being dependent on other people,” Davis said.


Brittany Myrhang, a HSU general biology major and her pug Molly. Photo | Bryan Donoghue

Brittany Myrhang is a junior general biology major from San Jose, California.

Myrhang has been interested in science ever since she could remember and holds a fondness for animals.

“I’ve always liked science and had a curiosity for the world. I like how everything breaks down in the world, even down to the smallest molecule, to the atoms, and down to cells,” Myrhang said. “I have a passion for animals, so what better way than learning about life and about animals than learning about all of it together?”

Following her passion, Myrhang hopes to pursue an internship that allows her to work with animals. “I’m hoping to get into an internship, working with wildlife possibly, or doing some shadowing for some vet schools.”

Myrhang hopes to fulfill her ambition once she graduates. “Once I get my own degree, I hope to go to veterinary school, and then go on to have my own practice.”

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