First post from Michael Martin!
While October break is less than a week away, I have more work than ever with midterm exams just starting. It has been fun adjusting to Larissa’s lab as I am the only student in lab that began my research at the start of the semester. Over the first few weeks I learned how to breed the zebrafish and be helpful in lab. I may not be as good at sexing the fish as Dan, James, or Allison, but I know for a fact I have come a long way. So far I mostly observe the zebrafish under the microscope and take measurements the old-fashion way. Only recently was I able to successfully setup the Leica camera on the microscope after many unplanned hours registering the instrument. Now I am able to capture images AND take measurements directly on the computer. Starting next week I hope to be recording dose response curves with DEHP and MEHP up to 96 hours post fertilization. Using varying concentrations of the phthalates I will try to find the EC10 and EC50 of when the embryos become affected. That is when the real fun should begin!
Although I have no concrete results yet, I enjoy spending time in the lab when I am not in class or at practice. At least so far it has been stress free (I am sure this will change as no research is truly stress free) and exciting to learn so much about this new organism. Thesis work is completely different than any other class I have taken at Bates as I can dictate my own schedule. With cross country in full swing (championship season) I am practicing twice a day and am at races on all Saturdays, not to mention travel time for far away meets. This activity combined with other course work keeps me busy ALL of the time. This schedule forces me to manage my time wisely and be incredibly efficient while working. I look forward to this challenge and cannot wait for results to come!