2018 CCS Summer Undergraduate Fellowships: Kristen Klitgaard

2018 CCS Summer Undergraduate Fellowships: Kristen Klitgaard

I’m in the Mazer lab, working with PhD candidate Kristen Peach and we are studying alter genetic variation in Clarkia Unguiculata, which is a wild is a wild flowering plant in California. Specifically this summer, we are studying if variations in pigment, UV radiation and pattern on the flower affects pollinator visitation and so we have a program that combines both the visible and UV spectrum, which is how the bees see it. You can see how the bees are viewing the plants so we can know what they’re reacting to rather than just assuming what we react to is what the bees react to. Doing this and getting more involved in the lab and being able to do some field-work with it and see what the day-to-day of research actually looks like, made me more eager to pursue it. There are a lot of little things that happen in research that you have to come up with a solution can fly. With this study the field season was weird this year because the rains were so late. Having to adapt to that and being there while we’re coming up with solutions has been really fun. It’s insane that people will be willing to invest in somebody that like they don’t know with research that they’re not super familiar with. That they can impact my life in this way and encourage me to pursue this more and helped solidify my excitement and passion or this, is almost inconceivable It’s a really wild opportunity that I’m like so grateful to have. It’s amazing! I’m really really happy–obviously.

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