What the NICE lab taught me

by Ajay S – Who said that laboratories and research studies are boring ? Believe me, you won’t feel that when you are working in the NICE lab. NICE lab gave me answers to the questions that have been in my mind for several years. During my summer internship period in NCBS with NICE lab members, I came to know what the research field is all about. I saw people working on projects that are fundamentally challenging the assumptions in their field. I saw people with huge devotion and irrational love for research. I saw how a lab works successfully, and I was wondered when I came to know that this lab is just one and half years old. I saw a lab working in diverse topics, united by the common thread of ecology. I saw how a P.I can be so nice and helpful. I realized how research is different in a way that you have to be constantly updated, reading papers and articles, learning new techniques, attending seminars and conferences, and so on.

    The NICE lab taught me the basic ideas of research. It’s research, it takes time, you need to employ new ways to solve the problems, you will be pushing the boundaries of knowledge and things look ‘impossible’. You must have the intellectual curiosity to know more things. You should have the creativity to design a whole new work-plan for your research. Most importantly, I understand the role of science communication. It’s important for scientists to be able to communicate the science to general public. Even though scientists are generally trained in all research methodologies and analytic skills, they fail to communicate the scientific concepts to other peoples. Shannon is such a wonderful P.I who gives the opportunity to everyone to showcase their analytic and communication skills. Because of that, I am writing the first blog in my life and that too for such an awesome chemical ecology lab. I am pretty sure that all this will be a great boost for my future career.

    I worked on the project named ‘chemo-visual ecology of hoverflies’. It was a great opportunity for me to work in this big project. At the beginning itself, Shannon told me that it will be a fun project. It’s a true ecology project where their final aim is to preserve and promote ecologically important wild pollinators and thereby increase the pollination. For two months, I felt like I was a naturalist, working hard to solve an environmental problem :P. And, now feeling like a published blogger!

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