From the Field to the Lab

Read about MA second-year Erin Eastwood’s genetic work with Fijian fishes!

Erin Eastwood

Over the last two months I have transformed from a perpetually damp, wetsuit-clad, village-hopping field scientist, into a (relatively) well-dressed, city-living, pipette-wielding lab scientist. Where I used to spend most of my time chasing fish around with my spear and catch bag, my life now largely consists of moving tiny amounts of liquid from one tube to another. And surprisingly enough….it’s pretty darn awesome.

IMG_7451 Step into my office.

Lab work is enjoyable to me for two main reasons – first, I am constantly in awe of the fact that we humans have even FIGURED OUT how to extract, amplify, and sequence DNA from living tissue. The decades of brainpower, creativity, and technological innovation required to make those little A’s, G’s, C’s, and T’s come up so nicely on our computer screens is boggling, and keeping that in mind brings a certain kind of appreciation to even the most tedious tasks at the bench. That’s not to say it’s always totally easy and…

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