How/Why Research? I was always interested in water systems and how they can affect human health. After taking several biology and environmental health classes, I was looking for an opportunity to apply class knowledge to real situations and be able to help other people. I read about faculty within my department to see which labs were conducting research I was interested in. One of those labs happened to post about an opening on the OUR website, and I sent in my resume and interviewed for the position. Fortunately, it was a good fit, and I have been working there since.
Research Experience: I work in the Brown Water Lab in the Gillings Environmental Health department with Dr. Joe Brown and Dr. Drew Capone. Our current project involves collecting child stool samples from the rural Black Belt area of Alabama. We prepare samples using density flotation devices. We screen for different types of parasitic worm ova but can find lots of debris and artifacts as well. From this experience I’m learning a lot about parasitic worms and their paths of transmission through soil and fecal matter. Our work is also impactful in that we help diagnose children with possible infections and can connect them with the necessary health care.
Student Organizations/Clubs: UNC Kasama, Tar Heel Transfers, Transfer United.
Random Fun Fact: I’ve faked being hypnotized during a magic show.