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A week in the life of a scientist: Imade Ojo

Imade Ojo, a senior biology major at Howard University, currently works with graduate student Allie Igwe in Dr. Rachel Vannette’s lab as part of the EEGAP program. Imade’s research focuses on serpentine soil, which is characterized by its notable low concentrations of calcium and nitrogen and heavy concentrations of nickel and magnesium. Imade is studying the differences in the functional potential between the microbial communities associated with the roots of serpentine-indifferent plants grown in serpentine or non-serpentine environments.

Last week included a group field trip in addition to a copious amount of lab work. On Tuesday, Imade and other students took a trip to the Bodega Marine Laboratory. They had a lot of fun learning about endangered white abalone and the research being done to restore the species. While at BML, they also took toured the surrounding preserve and observed the diverse natural landscapes characteristic of the Sonoma coast.

The rest of Imade’s week was filled with lab work aaannnnddd….bioinformatics! For the lab work, Imade is isolating microbes from serpentine and non-sepertine soil samples to compare and analyze the microbial communities. And she rapidly is adding lots of things to her bioinformatic toolbox. She is finishing up work with Mothur, which is an open source software package used for analysis of DNA. She later will analyze output from this tool with other software — PICRUSt, a program used to characterize evolutionary relationships, and STAMP, which researchers use to analyze metabolic profiles — to predict metagenomes from 16S RNA data generated from soil collection completed in 2016. 

mothur logo by Linda Wampach

So far, Imade has enjoyed her time in the lab and looks forward to learning more from Dr. Vannette and Allie.

Streptanthus and Lauren and abalone, oh my!

EEGAP student and Howard University junior Lauren Okafor enthuses about her research and a field trip to Bodega Marine Lab in this upbeat video. The field trip included opportunities to take a “shellfie” with a juvenile white abalone and BML researcher and “abalone mom” Kristin Aquilino.

Putting all your eggs into one basket in a salty world: how does salinity affect sea slug reproduction?

Last year, Marlynn Rollins examined how temperature and salinity affect the size and number of eggs that sea slugs lay. This year, she’s back to fine-tune her results. Listen as she describes her work

We’re on “Team Mayowa”…

Are you?

Mayowa describes her path and her reaction to making it to the Grad Slam Finals. It’s not too late to reserve a ticket!


“How I got from there to here”

More on Mayowa: an interview full of insights, including a three-sentence synopsis of her research, and shout-outs to Mary McKenna, Peter Wainwright, and the UC HBCU Initiative.

Mayowa in Grad Slam 2018!

Mayowa Adegboyega, EEGAP alumna and anthropology doctoral candidate, is a finalist for the 2018 Grad Slam Competition. To cheer her on at the finals, get tickets at eventbrite. Go Mayowa!