Mussels adapt to predatory crabs in a Long Island salt marsh by growing a thicker shell, concluded Samantha Garvey, after two years of research. The 17-year-old, a semi-finalist for the $100,000 Intel science prize, has a pretty thick shell herself. She’s been living in a motel and then a homeless shelter with her parents and three siblings since their eviction on New Year’s Eve.
Her mother, Olga, a nurse’s assistant, was out of work for eight months following a car accident in February, and her father, Leo, could not keep up with the bills alone on his salary as a cab driver.
The family will move into a rent-subsidized three-bedroom home in 10 days.
Before the eviction, the Garveys had rented a home for six or seven years, Leo Garvey said. Before that, the family had also lived in homeless shelters from time to time; Leo Garvey described himself as a recovering alcoholic.
Samantha said that she had worried for several months before the eviction, knowing that her mother was ailing and money was tight.
Garvey plans to become a marine biologist. She’s applied to Yale and Brown.