I remember my jump from environmental science to plant biology being pretty, spontaneous. However, it was a good spontaneous. The kind where you do something you never considered, or talk to someone you would never usually cross paths with and think to yourself, “Hey I really like this!” Before that point, I did not even know I could do a focus on plant biology. I had always loved plants, but I did not know there was a place here where I could work with them all the time. I would not have known about plant biology here at Duke if I had not reached out to someone in that department. That one conversation encouraged me to look more into a plant biology concentration here at Duke, and through that conversation, I have made so many connections and found out about opportunities all over campus, in the greenhouse, and out on the field. So if there is one thing I am excited about this summer, it is making new connections in the plant biology department and being a part of the scientific community here at Duke.
For my research, I am working in Rausher Labs and my mentor is Jonathan Colen. We are working on a type of flower called Morning Glories (Ipomoea). While training in the greenhouse with plants was fun, my favorite part of today, and what I am most excited about in the future, was meeting the greenhouse staff and Jonathan’s peers in the lab. They were all very knowledgeable about their research and the research going on around them. Also, they would always end their introductions with “If you ever need any help or information, just let me know” It was nice getting to know all these passionate individuals who were willing to help me, and it was only the first day. I know that through BSURF I will have many more spontaneous, path-changing conversations, and make many friends in the department while having them. So that is the thing I am most excited about through my research