Last year, the University of Chicago piloted three undergraduate “September Courses” at the MBL, an intensive and successful experiment described in this article in the university’s publication, “The Core.” The courses (Microbiomes Across Environments; Observing Proteins in Action: How to Design and Build Your Own Instruments; and Biodiversity and Genomics: Exploring the Marine Animal Diversity of Woods Hole Using Molecular Tools) will be offered again Sept. 3-21, 2018.
By Lydialyle Gibson
By the second day of the second week of Jack Gilbert’s course on microbiomes, time is starting to feel a little bent and fuzzy. Gilbert and his group—co-instructor David Mark Welch; teaching assistant Sophia Carryl, SM’17; and a dozen undergraduates—have spent most of the past 24 hours in the lab, working through the night on research projects begun only three days earlier. By the end of next week, those projects will have to be finished.
Meanwhile, last week seems like a distant memory: introductory lectures from Gilbert, a microbial ecologist at UChicago and Argonne, and Mark Welch, an MBL evolutionary biologist, on ecology and microbes and microbiomes, how to investigate them, why they matter. (Some of the students are biology majors, but others come from economics, mathematics, computer science.)
“And then we just gave them carte blanche to come up with research projects,” says a bleary Gilbert, making himself another cup of black tea in the laboratory kitchen. Read more …
Home page photo: Megan Costello