Friday, December 21, 2012

New members in the Blumstein Lab!

This quarter, I had the amazing experience of mentoring three great students that joined the marmot team! They are such eager workers and enthusiastic learners. Their goal for the quarter was sorting out the samples collected during the 2012 field season in RMBL and extracting fecal glucocorticoids. We are looking forward to have them as a part of the field team next summer!

Kate, Lilah and Xinping are now part of the Blumstein lab, and here they tell us a little bit about their experience this quarter. 

I’ll be honest. My job in the Blumstein Lab was pretty crappy. And I mean that in the most literally sense possible—this quarter I worked with marmot fecal samples so as to extract hormones, specifically looking at glucocorticoids levels. I also looked at the composition of marmot blood samples. I look forward to continuing my research involvement in the Lab next term, because, in reality, my job isn't crappy at all. It is fascinating work, with a great team, and I have really loved this interesting new experience.

My time working in the Blumstein Lab has been educational, motivational, and inspiring. I have enjoyed gaining hands-on research experience and learning valuable techniques, including glucocorticoid extraction and blood scoring. Working in the marmot lab has been a great step as I pursue a career of my own in this field, and I hope to return to continue working side by side with this great team of researchers!

Working in the lab has been a great experience as an undergraduate student at UCLA. Through professor Blumstein's lab, I have been exposed to different people who are passionate about their research. I've also gained knowledge and interest in animal behavior and I am looking forward to learning more about Marmots and animal behavior through upcoming research projects with Adriana.

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