My project centered around something I am immensely passionate about: veganism. As a vegan of 2+ years, many have had some *interesting* claims about the ways being a developing vegan may harm my health. For my project, I chose to see if there was any merit to one such claim, that being vegan could impact my fertility. To do this, I set up 8 vials consisting of animal-based protein, plant-based protein, and Vitamin B12 – a vitamin critical for fertility that is often deficient in vegans. I found that a plant-based protein diet didn’t have any adverse effects on fertility when examined next to an animal-based protein diet. While Vitamin B12 did slightly improve female fertility for plant-based fly diets, its effects were so minuscule that it would appear plant-based protein diets can support fertility well enough that supplementation isn’t necessary.
Aside from growing as a researcher, TRIP has also given me the resources to grow as a person. I had hands-on opportunities to network with research professionals. I was given the chance to listen to fascinating career talks where I was able to do a lot of introspection as to the professional life I hope to attain. I learned the most from my intelligent, dynamic group of peers who became friends from my TRIP session. I’d like to thank Dr. Leystra, Dr. Purdy, Ms. Pellegrin, Diya Parekh, my mother, my family, and my TRIP peers for making this TRIP possible. I can’t wait to see where this TRIP takes me in the future!