Participating in independent lab work during COVID-19 sets path to career in research
Veronica Casey, senior in natural resources and environmental sciences and James Scholar.
Photo by Veronica Casey
November 25, 2020

Back in May, student Veronica Casey was thrilled to learn she had received an undergraduate summer research fellowship from the American Society for Plant Biologists (ASPB-SURF) to fund her research project on the spread of copper resistance by bacterial pathogens of tomato and pepper plants.

However, with COVID-19 cases surging across the country, it was unclear when or if she would be able to begin working on her project. Fortunately, she was able to adapt her research plan to comply with the safety restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic. Beyond the standard requirements, this also included working in shifts and spending a lot of time in the greenhouse by herself.

Since returning to campus in late June, Veronica has made significant progress on her research and plans to write up her project for inclusion in a future scientific publication. “I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to continue working in a research lab while staying safe during the pandemic,” Veronica says. “This opportunity has taught me how to work independently in a lab and how to find solutions for various aspects of my experiment. Working on my project has been the greatest insight I have gotten into what I want to do in the future - which is pursue a career in research!”