Hey everybody! I can’t believe we’re already entering Week 8 of the TRIP initiative! Time is quite literally flying by! (sorry for the bad pun!). Over the last 8 weeks, I have met so many new people and made new friendships. I’ve also slowly gotten over my fear of bugs and other flying animals- the fruit flies and I are besties now. Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra have been such great mentors, and I’ve learnt so much- not only about research, but about critical thinking, presentation, and having fun amidst a crazy workload!
It’s exciting to see my independent project come together, since the topic is one that is very personal and relevant to me. Through TRIP, I have the opportunity to study the effects of Vitamin D and isolation on fruit fly behavior. This topic is important to me because like several others, I spent the beginning of quarantine holed up in my room watching Netflix. The effects of this isolation could be seen in my behavior because I slowly became more snappy, moodier, and less willing to interact with other people. My family advised me to spend some time outdoors since the weather was getting nicer, but I never truly understood the effects of being outside on people living in isolation. Was it the Vitamin D in sunlight? Was it the warmth of the evening sun on my skin? Or was it the mere presence of fresh air and an outdoor surrounding?
I wanted to test the effects of Vitamin D, a key nutrient, as well as isolation on a fly’s ability to interact. I believe this topic is integral to the world because many people have spent the last year (wow, one year, look! - time flew again!) in isolation due to lockdowns and quarantine across the world. It would be interesting to understand the effects of this prolonged isolation on future interactions and human behavior as the pandemic nears to an end.
I’m super excited to see what my research leads me to, and to continue building friendships and learning more at TRIP!!