I had a very neat and tidy plan for how to finish my degree, and then suddenly my school released the course offerings for the summer and I realized pretty darn quick that they were offering zero courses I needed. I love my school and all but it’s a bit frustrating. I had to pivot quickly and decided to do another co-op for the summer semester and then return to classes in the fall.

In the interest of trying to remain optimistic, I only let myself cry for about 20 minutes, and then got to work creating a Plan B to get excited about.

I knew that I wanted to work at Accelerate, having gone through the program with a team (and gotten funded!) and then been a work study student for them. The only catch was that the position was listed at only 32 hours a week instead of full time. Again… optimism… I emailed one of my favorite professors about being a research assistant for her in order to fill the rest of my time.

So that’s the story of how I’m doing research into Drosophila, colloquially known as the fruit fly.

The main question driving the research is “How does Rdl impact locomotion as a result of photoreception?”


In other words – why the heck does this specific mutant fly become completely paralyzed when it’s placed in darkness!?

I won’t be going into the specific details of findings here, but I wanted to share some snippets from my lab notebook:

What I did my first day of research!

Date: May 17th, 2016. Time: 1pm-2:30pm

Where: Ira Allen Biology Labs

What: Learned how to differentiate between male and female mature flies. 100% accurately sorted flies.
Observed larvae in sucrose food solution.
Learned how to make food.
Learned how to anesthetize flies.
Discussed what we would be researching this summer -> certain fly mutations are completely paralyzed in darkness. We will be exploring this phenomenon.

I’m really enjoying working in the lab. Being able to devote a longer span of time to an experiment or line of research is very exciting for me!


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