Take Five: Reflecting on Undergraduate Research at MBL

What has been most surprising to you about the REU experience?  

Everyone here is intellectually driven. With this widespread commonality, we can talk to anyone about anything and leave the conversation amazed by our newly gathered knowledge or our shared excitement about Earth’s mysteries. – Lori Campbell

The variety of research that goes on at the MBL! Some of us are working with vertebrates, some are working with cephalopods, some are doing biomedical research, some are doing cellular and molecular biology, some are doing neuroscience research, some are here for courses. It is so easy to start conversations because there is so much to learn from every person you meet.  – Alyvia Martinez

How beautiful the Woods Hole/Falmouth area is. The beaches and marshes are so beautiful, the water is so clear, and at Stoney Beach you can see bioluminescence in the water at night. – Scout Crooke, rising junior in biology at Haverford College

Which aspect of the REU program has been most influential for you?

Attending the Wednesday Neuroscience lecture series and the Friday Evening Lecture series has opened my eyes to many new areas of science I wouldn’t have found interesting otherwise. – Kaitlin Webster, rising sophomore in neuroscience & women and gender studies at Santa Clara University

The REU program has not only given me the opportunity to do research in a lab, but also to interact with the scientific community at the MBL. Exposure to the welcoming social atmosphere of the MBL has opened up my eyes to the ways we do science. From attending weekly lectures with passionate speakers and talking with scientists about their research, I have learned that science is just as much a social activity involving collaboration as it is an individual study. – Christian Selden

I really love working in the lab with graduate students. I know I want to go to graduate school, but I had no knowledge about the process or whether I should start with a masters or go straight for my PhD. The students here have been really helpful in showing me the differences between these two paths, and how to communicate effectively to help make connections that will [advance] my career. – Alyvia Martinez

How do you hope your experience this summer will influence your future in research/academia?

I hope this experience will open the doors for research in my field, as I hope to continue focusing on the physiology and evolution of coral populations, and as a first-generation college student, it is difficult to network in a field that is very new to me. – Kellie Navarro, rising senior in biology and environmental studies at Bowdoin College

I am excited to start researching! I thought that people were only joking when they said they got the “Woods Hole bug” but I’m already thinking of ways to come back for more science at the MBL. – Kaitlin Webster

Read more about Kellie Navarro’s interests and check out Christian Selden’s photography


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