Nicole Piatt

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undergraduate student in EEB, L. Lewis lab.
L. Lewis Lab Homepage

Nicole at the thermocycler.
  • Presently, I am a senior at the University of Connecticut completing my Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. This fall I plan on taking the Optometry Admission Test, in order to apply to Optometry schools shortly thereafter. I anticipate attending the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, located in sunny Philadelphia. The program’s curriculum contains 2 1/2 years of on-campus traditional course work and 1 1/2 years of off-campus externships in a variety of practices.

  • I began research in the laboratory of Dr. Louise Lewis in mid-June with a primary goal of comparing the South African strains of desert soil algae to North American strains, in order to find similarities between the geographically dispersed species from similar habitats. DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing are some of the varying techniques used to obtain DNA sequences of selected genes of the different algae. These sequences are then aligned and analyzed with special software to generate a phylogenetic tree. With the help of Dr. Lewis and the graduate students in the laboratory, these techniques were learned and executed.

  • This research experience has been an amazing opportunity and I appreciate the time and effort put forth by Dr. Lewis and the graduate students, Molly and Karolina, to help me gain knowledge of the techniques implemented in a laboratory. I believe my experience this summer will be a great guide to my future laboratory involvement.
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