The lab is pelased to welcome back Alexis Kirkendall for the next six weeks to help us with a large-scale culturing project! Alexis is planning to graduate in December, and is in the process of applying to graduate programs here at UMaine so she can join the lab full-time in January!
Undergraduate Researcher, Biology, Heidelberg University
Alexis is from Ohio and is majoring in Biology at Heidelberg University. Her research interests are in genetics and she has a love for the fascinating world of microbes. She originally joined the lab through the Summer 2022 REU, and has been working remotely on a few projects in the past year.
Last year, Alexis built skills in microbiology, microscopy, and molecular genetics. This year, she’ll be helping us screen hundreds of bacteria for their ability to grow on certain media and, hopefully, produce anti-inflammatories. This is part of the larger Broccoli Project.
Because of the large number of samples, we are using a robotic liquid handler to dispense culture media and bacterial cells into 96-well plates, that we can later look for growth in. We’ll also be using the anaerobic chamber to grow these bacteria on agar plates to see what their colonies look like, and to grow more of them for additional experiements.
While visiting the Microbe Musuem in Amsterdam recently, Alexis got me a tardigrade (middle) to join the chalmydia (left) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (right, which she got me last year) in my office!