There are two types of undergraduate research opportunities in my lab. First, entry-level undergraduates can gain experience measuring trunk and limb lengths non-invasively, from photographs taken of wild geladas. This work is used to examine gelada growth trajectories, and to assess whether relative size-for-age is related to external (social) or internal (physiological) factors during the developmental period (e.g., maternal rank, group size, stress, injury). Undergraduates who have completed one semester of experience in the digital photogrammetry lab and who meet my approval can then advance to working in the endocrine laboratory. The reason for this progression is simple: Mistakes in the measurements of digital photographs can only result in wasted effort. The photographs themselves are saved in several repositories, so there is no way a student can accidentally “destroy” data. By contrast, spilling an extracted fecal sample means that the sample can never be recovered again. Furthermore, training an undergraduate to work in the endocrine lab requires a huge time investment, either by myself, or by a senior graduate student. Therefore, students cannot advance to working in the endocrine lab until they have demonstrated competence and an attention to detail in the digital photogrammetry lab.
If you are interested in working in my lab, please do the following: 1. Send me an email expressing your interest with the following attachments: