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Undergraduate Researchers

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Alexis Brown, Marine Biotechnology

Summer Research

How did you learn about doing research in Marine Biotechnology?

I learned about doing research within the Marine Biotechnology department through one of my classmates.

Where do you do this work?

I work at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute/Center of Marine Biology (UMBI/COMB) at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

How did you know this was the project you wanted to do?

I wanted to do this project because Dr. Robert Belas’ lab has environmental aspects to their projects. I am an environmental science major and the integration of microbiology and marine microbial genetics into my project was exactly what I wanted to do after my research experience at the University of Miami.

Do you get course credit for this work?

Yes, I receive credit for my work.

How much time do you put into it?

I work 15 hours a week.

What academic background did you have before you started?

Before I started working at UMBI, I was a junior environmental science major with two summers of undergraduate research experience. However, past research experience is not always necessary.

What else are you involved in at UMBC?

Meyerhoff Scholar, MARC U*STAR scholar, Gamma Theta Upsilon, Club lacrosse, National Society of Black Engineers


What is your advice to other students about getting involved in research?

Try to find research that you are interested in and e-mail professors to ask if they have space in their lab for an undergraduate.

What are your career goals?

I aspire to get a PhD in environmental health in order to lessen the occurrence of asthma

What has been the hardest part about your research?

The hardest part of my research has been learning the aspects of genetics and microbiology and understanding the mechanisms utilized by geneticists that I have not learned in the classroom setting.

What was the most unexpected thing?

The most unexpected thing about my lab research was the weekly meeting that our lab holds in order to report on the progress of our projects. I was not used to presenting in front of graduate students within my lab as well as my mentor on a weekly basis. It has been a learning experience that will be very helpful in my success during graduate school.

How does your research relate to your work in other classes?

My research within the lab does not relate directly to my courses. I was required to study a lot outside of lab in order to understand the importance of my project as well as how to go about performing the required experiments.