Lydia Brown in the lab.

Lydia Brown in the lab.

Name: Lydia Brown

Major: Biology

Classification: Junior

Hometown: Tuscon, AZ

Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Hunter, Biology

What I Study: This summer I joined the Hunter research lab, which is a molecular systematics lab. This is a field that uses DNA to determine the relationships of organisms. We are currently working on a project to determine what the evolutionary relationships are between different types of brittle stars- a groups of marine invertebrates similar to star fish. Ultimately, we are trying to figure out if brittle stars that look similar and/or live in similar environments are more closely related then those without these shared characteristics.

Why I do research:  While I have always been interested in doing research, when I first started my main motivation for doing research was because I knew it could help my medical school application. However, as I became more involved this motivation changed. While, I do not always get the results I want (which is very frustrating), I enjoy research because it challenges me everyday. I love being able come up with different possibilities and ideas to try to implement. Plus I am amazed at all the technology possible through science and enjoy learning about all the potential that scientific research has on society.