Songeun Lee

Graduate Student, The Lambert Lab

You work in a laboratory. What are you currently researching? 

I am interested in a wide range of topics in genome evolution and specifically, in the evolution of the Tritia obsoleta genome. Tritia obsoleta, known as eastern mudsnail, is a species we can easily find around us – it is distributed along the Northwest Atlantic and Pacific coast of North America. There has not been very much work done about the evolution of this species. One of my goals is to unravel the evolutionary processes in underlying genetic changes in my study-organism using comparative genomics analysis as a tool. 

What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R? 

The area around the University of Rochester is a good place to live. The neighborhood is safe and green, and we have plenty of awesome parks, bars, and restaurants nearby. It has the benefit of being a small city as it is not crowded and peaceful, but also it has access to almost everything you need to enjoy your free time, in about 30 minutes by car.  

What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned working here and/or studying biology?

The most important thing is to find ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance to be productive and focused throughout your graduate school life. To accomplish this, it is crucial to set reasonable short/long term goals and unwind wisely in your free time to make sure not to get burned out. 

How do you think our biology department stands out in comparison to other universities?

Our department, especially our E2G2 program is a great choice if you want to know more about population genetics. We have faculty who have made great achievements in the population genetics field and our curriculum covers evolutionary biology, especially population genetics, in depth. Plus, our faculty members work on a wide variety of topics in biology, which makes our department complete.

How do you unwind when you’re not in the lab?

I enjoy physical activities such as yoga, and I take a long walk when the weather is nice. Also, I like cooking on weekends. All those activities help me be in good condition mentally, and physically.