What drew you to the RIC program?

The prospect of meeting and working with other individuals who have similar interests and goals as myself and wanting to gain experience with undergraduate research

What did you enjoy most about your first year in the RIC?

One of the best things about my first year in the RIC was the ability to work with others and explore my research interests. I also enjoyed gaining lab and research experience early on in my degree.

What research have you engaged in? Tell us what you have enjoyed most about your project(s), including any cool findings!

I have worked with Dr. Schultz conducting a detailed morphological analysis of mutant plant lines. I engaged in the characterization of plant growth and development, and laboratory procedures including DNA extractions and microscopy. Our research resulted in novel findings regarding root hair polarity consistent with previous observations in leaf cell polarity. I also worked with Dr. Schultz in BIOL 2002 isolating mutant plants using PCR and conducting a phenotypic analysis that ultimately found defects in gravitropic responses, stem growth, and organogenesis. As a part of BIOL 3001, I conducted germination trials and a phenological characterization of Canada’s endangered wood poppy with Dr. McCune. We compared native Canadian plants to plants of US origin and found that Canadian wood poppies have a faster growth rate, a greater number of leaves, differences in leaf shape, and fewer trichomes than plants with US provenance.

What have you enjoyed the most about the RIC program?

I have enjoyed working with other RIC students and solidifying my passion for botany, plant genetics, and plant development.

What are you planning to do after university, and has the RIC program contributed to your career plans?

I am planning on completing a Master's degree and eventually a PhD. The RIC has allowed me to gain a solid head start on my research skills and experience and has helped my find an are of research that I enjoy.

Is there anyone who has had an important influence on your experience with the program? This can be a fellow student in the RIC program, a mentor, staff or faculty.

I am very grateful for the support I have received from my professors and research supervisors. They have opened up so many doors for me and allowed me to explore my interests as a student. I am especially grateful for Dr. Elizabeth Schultz, Dr. Jenny McCune, and Jennifer Burke. I was also lucky enough to be able to work with and receive guidance from other RIC students, including Chloe Devoy.

What advice would you give students who are about to start their biological sciences degrees and possibly embark in research through the RIC program?

Try new things, meet new people and enjoy yourself and your research. Make the most out of your degree by meeting new professors and asking about their research. There is a lot more to a great student than grades—experience is so important!