Ann Trapaga began working as a tuco-wrangler and researcher in the Lacey Lab at the end of the spring 2007 semester in her junior year. She helped collect estrous cycle data for graduate student Julie Woodruff over the summer and conducted a side project where she tracked behavioral changes throughout the estrous cycle and presented her findings at a summer Biology Scholars Program symposium. She took IB 104 and IB 146 in the spring of 2007. She began an independent research project in the Lacey Lab Fall 2007 that will continue through the Spring 2008 semester in which she is researching “the differential response to predator stimuli by colonial tuco-tucos.” She will be presenting the first half of her research at the BFP/PGP Biology Scholars Program Symposium on Feb. 2, 2008. She sees a trend in her data but because of her small sample size she is unable to claim any statistically significant results so she is looking forward to completing more trials this spring. She is now taking IB 173 this Spring 2008, and plans to help with Cal Day 2008.
“I was introduced to the MVZ when I took both Natural History of the Vertebrates (IB 104) and Behavioral Ecology (IB 146) during the Spring 2007 semester. The MVZ instructors that taught these courses were friendly, approachable, humorous, extremely knowledgeable and their excitement about the subject matter was contagious. These classes were a unique experience for me because up until that point, I had always taken classes that utilized more “traditional” lecture methods. In contrast, these courses were fueled by a mutual enjoyment for the subject matter and facilitated learning by conversation and hands-on learning. As a result of my involvement with the MVZ, I have acquired invaluable research experience, field work skills, mentors that I admire and respect and last but not least, an even greater appreciation for the natural world around me.”