My first few days in the Dr. Reade Roberts Lab at North Carolina State University have been a whirlwind! I have had the opportunity to shadow a dissection day, observe the behavior tracking process and helped prepare samples for DNA extraction.
The team that works in the lab are extraordinarily talented. Kate Coyle, a graduate student, dissected numerous specimens with both speed and precision as she worked to untangle the intestines and separate them from other organs to measure. Lab manager Natalie Roberts measured the pH of the stomach and worked in conjunction with Erin Peterson, another graduate student, who prepared histology samples and examined the microscopic gonads of fish to determine their sex. Postdoctoral fellow Emily Moore juggled multiple responsibilities as each fish’s behavior was captured on video, sent to a photo booth to record their appearance and then delivered for dissection.
It was an all-day operation as part of their work to investigate topics such as species-specific behavior and gut microbiota and how that fits into their genetics. It was also interesting to see the fish room where the multiple species are hosted .
To be able to see scientists working and to have the opportunity to ask questions firsthand is just incredible. It is a humbling and an invaluable experience.
To read more about the work that goes on in the lab, please visit: http://readerobertslab.weebly.com/