Qianyu Zhu

Qianyu Zhu is bending over taking a sample among a field of grasses

The past 2022 summer in MSU had turned out way better than I expected. Before everything started, I simply wanted more research experience to put on my resumé. I did not expect to work in a very comfortable and friendly environment, or work on something meaningful to climate change, or get to know many wonderful people in the program.

I was mentored by Ali Zahorec in Dr. Doug Landis’s entomology lab. We were working on microarthropods, the tiny soil dwelling arthropods that can be very beneficial to soil ecosystems. Ali has been previously working on microarthropod diversity in the energy crop fields, and we were super excited to get to know more of these tiny creatures’ life history and their relationship with different fungi. Before this, I already knew some of the more common methodology when researching microarthropods, but getting the hands-on experience was very fun, and it was a great learning experience.

The working experience in lab was wonderful. The graduate students in lab are very supportive and gave me great advice when it was time for making the poster and presentation. The lab technicians are all very friendly and sociable, turning boring lab work into fun conversations. I have been to several bug collecting trips with them at weekends, which also turned out to be amazing experiences.

Everyone in the GLBRC program are amazing people, and we have bonded pretty well by the end of the summer. We shared endless conversations about science and research, which we’re all passionate about, and many other things. We never have to have meals alone, and we made lots of weekend plans together, going to other cities for short trips. To be honest, I was very sentimental when the program came to an end and I had to leave this supportive group.

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