Students from Arizona were involved in parasitology research
Ten undergraduate students from the University of Arizona were involved in research in laboratories of the Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre CAS. As participants in Prozkoumat! Program, these students worked on research projects during last ten weeks.
The students’ projects involve a wide range of organisms and techniques; their work contributes to answering scientific, medical, and economic questions relating to the prevention of parasitic diseases in humans and animals. Projects include understanding the transmission of tick-borne disease, evolution of pathogenic myxozoans affecting aquaculture, potential targets for new anti-parasitic drugs and more.
This experience led students to develop independence and confidence as scientists as noted by Megan Montoya, MCB Junior working with Dr. Zdenek Paris.
"From my first day working in the laboratory in Ceske Budejovice, I was immediately given my project, with relatively little guidance,” said Megan, “ though it was initially overwhelming, it forced me to do my own research to solve problems, rather than blindly following a protocol.”
Others feel their experience has developed a sense of responsibility for their laboratory's work.
"I'm glad I took an interest in getting to know each individual in the Fish Protistology laboratory as much as possible,” says Microbiology major Christian Sandoval who works with Dr. Astrid Holzer, “as a result I feel much more invested in the group's research objectives, as well as the personal and professional well-being of my peers and mentors."
In addition to working full time on their research projects, students participated in two science outreach events in Ceske Budejovice and Ostrava. The science demonstrations were intended to excite children about science and to encourage them to ask questions about how things work. “Science outreach is an important part of being a scientist,” commented Carol Bender, Prozkoumat! Director, “and the Prozkoumat! students did a terrific job of sharing their excitement about science with Romani children.”
The experience of being thrust into the genial, organized chaos of research science is a new one for some of these students, as is travel to central or Eastern Europe for others. But all students have been left with powerful impressions during their time in the Prozkoumat! program, as each embarked on an individual journey of self-discovery as scholars, scientists, educators, and ultimately, global citizens as well as ambassadors of their country.
Science demonstrations for children