Quality mentors have been incredibly influential over the course of my education. I strive to contribute to the mentoring of others in the same way that I have been advised and provided research opportunities. Providing students with the ability to engage in active research not only provides them another way to learn concepts, but it allows them to determine what areas of biology truly interest them, if they would enjoy a career in research, and help them find non-academic career options. During graduate school, I have mentored 6 undergraduate students through various programs, and 2 high school students from a local accelerated math and science high school. All of my awesome interns and mentees have had the opportunity to work with me and other members of the Lau lab and have had the option to develop independent research. I find mentoring to be one of the most rewarding experiences because it allows me to see others develop and explore their own scientific questions and also because brings in new perspectives and ideas into the lab.
Tim Hose, Michigan State University, Summer 2009.
Tim was an REU that I mentored on a project exploring how increasing temperature would affect competition between switchgrass cultivars with native switchgrass populations.
Molly Rooney, Michigan State University, Fall 2009
Molly was an intern in the ROKS program at KBS. She assisted me in conducting a pilot experiment that explored variation in establishment success across populations of 7 different native and exotic species. She also maintained a greenhouse experiment that started to quantify intraspecific variation in a few species and was pivotal to ensuring their survival.
Felize Dangcil – Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center, 2010-2011
Felize assisted my research throughout 2010 and 2011 in establishing experiments, pollinating plants, conducting germination trials of various species, and collecting data in various experiments.
Elaine Coughlin – Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center, 2010
Elaine assisted with harvesting and censusing experiments in the summer of 2010 as a volunteer from BCAMSC.
Alisha Fischer – Michigan State University, Summer 2011
Alisha was an intern through the KBS Learn and Intern program in 2011. While taking classes at KBS, she helped establish a large field experiment at Chipman preserve, collect data throughout the season, and was hugely helpful in numerous other experiments of mine and others in the Lau lab.
Anh Bui – Michigan State University, Summer 2012
Anh was an Undergraduate Research Apprentice (URA) in 2012 that assisted me with field and greenhouse work through a drought.
Sara Carabajal – Humboldt State University, since Summer 2014
Sara started in Summer 2014 as an REU. She has been actively involved in a project exploring how multiple mutualisms associated with a single host plant may interactively affect each other, plant fitness, and affect higher trophic levels.
Felipe Navarro – Michigan State University, since Summer 2014
Felipe started in Summer as a URA. While taking classes at KBS, he has also been very involved in the multi-mutualist experiment exploring the independent and interactive effects of rhizobia and ants on plant fitness and the arthropod community. Recently, he has began exploring how these mutualisms may influence endophyte diversity and composition within the leaves of C. fasciculata.