My first two weeks of TRIP have been packed full of learning, making new friends, and growing as a person and researcher. I loved getting acclimated to the environment of the lab within the commotion of Philly. So far I’ve been most fascinated by the parallels between a mere fruit fly to the amazing human body. Sorting flies was tedious but a rewarding experience when all was said and done.
But now, the true fun of my internship begins with the long-awaited independent research project. Upon embarking on a vegan lifestyle a few years ago, I have received some *interesting* critiques of this diet from friends and family. One objection my grandmother often repeats is that she suspects my vegan diet will impact my ability to give her great-grandchildren in the future. I thought this to be a fascinating concern, given the overlap between veganism, the climate crisis, and female fertility. Upon conducting some initial research, the science behind whether veganism helps or hurts fertility is quite conflicting. While a vegan diet provides many vital micronutrients, it often lacks Vitamin B12, a critical vitamin for fertility. Through the guidance of Dr. Leystra, Ms. P, and my incredible TRIP peers, I’ve arrived at my research question, "How does a plant-based protein diet compare to an animal-based protein diet when supplemented with vitamin B12 for female fruit fly fertility?"
I am looking forward to having the opportunity to answer this thought-provoking question while developing my skills as an independent researcher. I will keep you, my internet audience, informed as this TRIP of a lifetime flies by!