Technical Associate, The Presgraves Lab
You work in a laboratory. What are you currently researching?
I was hired as a molecular biologist. I don’t generally have my own project, but handle cloning aspects for a variety of experiments. Whatever the gene of interest is, I subclone it out of a Drosophila line into E. coli. Sometimes I do site-directed mutagenesis, other times I just clone the wild-type version, and then insert it back into the fly.
What was it that originally sparked your interest in Biology?
Way back in high school biology, we did a unit on genetic inheritance using punnet squares. I loved the whole concept of calculating how traits could be tracked and predicted. That’s when I decided I wanted to study genetics and DNA.
What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R?
I enjoy both learning and teaching. As a researcher, there are always new techniques being discovered and methods improved upon. I find it fun trying out new protocols and tweaking them to make them work for me. But mostly I love training new students. From undergraduates, who have no experience, to graduate students and fellows who have some experience, it’s inspiring to see them gain confidence in their own abilities and then continue on in their chosen specialty.
What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned working here and/or studying Biology?
Patience and perseverance. Science doesn’t always work. You can’t quit. Keep thinking, reading and trying new things.
How do you unwind when you’re not in the lab?
As an empty nester, I now have time to do a variety of things. My husband and I love to travel. We recently went to Hawaii, and two years ago we visited Alaska. I am also a horse lover. I have them in my back yard and there’s nothing better than sipping tea on my back deck watching them graze… or galloping across an open field. I also enjoy baking, which I find very similar to science; measurements of chemicals (sugar, flour), incubations (350 degree oven), and a finished product (cookies). My dog also insists I walk her every day.