Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Name: Mary Vincent

Degree: Major in Zoology, Minor in Environmental Sciences

Year in School: Junior

Career Goal: Graduate School, M.S. Genetics

How long have you been working in our lab? 5 months, since March 2013

Mary Vincent swabs ant nests for microbes.

Mary Vincent swabs ant nests for microbes.

Describe your project/research: I am working for ant scientist Dr. Clint Penick and my job is to feed, collect, construct ant nest boxes and sort different species of ants for a large project in the Phytotron. The Phytotron is a large facility for climate-controlled experiments; scientists can control light, humidity and temperature in specified chambers. We are trying to figure out how different climates affect ants. We are also looking at gut microbes!

What was the craziest thing that happened to you in the lab/field this season? I aspirated an ant into my mouth and it bit my tongue.

What is one question you REALLY want the answer to? Does whale-song really mean anything?