Undergraduates - interested in working in the Hunter lab?
We usually have about 4-6 undergrads working in the Hunter laboratory. Paid undergraduates maintain plants, insect cultures, wash pots and cages, conduct diagnostic PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to maintain the symbiont infection status of cultures, and assist with experiments. Paid undergraduates who are interested may also eventually undertake their own research project. Other undergrads may work as volunteers, for course credit, or for an honors thesis; these students have more research, less maintenance in their work mix. If you are interested in working in the lab for pay, it helps if you have work-study status. If not, and you are interested in getting involved, send us an email. We ask volunteers to commit to regular hours and meticulous work habits, and sometimes our lab is simply full, but we're always interested in hearing from you.
I am a senior majoring in Public Health with a minor in Chinese. On the side, I am a student organizer for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona where I organize around issues of reproductive rights and justice on and off campus. I am interested in Biology due to wanting to have a better understanding of the world's diversity. In the future I hope to combine my interests in public health research, reproductive health/justice, global health, and Mandarin Chinese into a career of research and advocacy. I thank this lab for getting me over my fear of bugs, and realizing how cool they can be!
Undergraduates and other alumni
We've had the privilege of having 50ish wonderful undergraduates work in the lab. Recent graduates Catherine Vasquez is now working as a research technician at the Medical School, and thinking about medical school. Matt Flores is starting a PhD program in Immunology and Microbiology at Virginia Tech, and Sam McMasters is entering a Medical Technician Program. Recently, at a mini-reunion of the Hunter lab at the Entomological Society of America Meetings in 2017 in Denver (see photo), we caught up with Nick Dowdy, who started as a freshman interested in whale acoustics. After 4 years in the lab, first as an undergrad assistant, then in the Undergraduate Research in Biology (UBRP) program, Nick went to Wake Forest for his PhD, studying moth acoustic arms races (we take credit for changing the scale of his taxon of interest!). He recently got an NSF Postdoc grant to continue his work on this system. Along the way he discovered a moth with a unique defensive adaptation, and BBC Earth made a wonderful 2 minute video clip talking to Nick and showing the moth. Watch it here! Congratulations Nick!