You may have read my previous blog posts about the other 2 experiments that I have done this summer. Within them I have explained the experimental set up for my project in which there are Petri dishes, streaked with soil microbes, in a jar containing compost so that compost VOCs interact with the microbes and… Read More

I have realized recently that, before starting this research experience, I often looked for videos or blogs that told me about a day in the life of a research scientist. I always wondered what the work-life balance was, how predictable the day to day schedule is and what exactly research entails. Today, I will be… Read More

Round two of my experiment is in the incubator as of 20 minutes ago! Our new design idea has accounted for the factors that may have influenced our last experiment such as the condensation in the jar was contaminating the plates. The solution to this was to place a blank petri dish at the top… Read More

Finally, I was able to pull the first round of results out of the incubator, do a CFU (colony forming unit) count and put the data into a graph in R. Unfortunately my initial count reflected my confusion between bacillus cells that were spread wide and deformed, and fungi. An example of a cell that… Read More

Wow! Three weeks down, six weeks to go.  After wrestling for many hours on some tricky calculations and staying up late to finish writing my lab procedure, I finally got my first round of microbes in the incubator!  The problem was finding the correct water holding capacity for the three main compost types and because… Read More

The first week working in the lab has been very enlightening and I can say that I’ve mostly gotten over my initial first-time-researcher jitters. My mentors have been working very closely with me, helping me learn important processes such as making media and correctly streaking plates. They are also teaching me all of the rules… Read More