Student Interviews The Hawaiian Monarch Butterfly A Study in Population Relatedness

Student Interviews The Hawaiian Monarch Butterfly A Study in Population Relatedness


INBRE 2018 : Meet the Student Researchers (Susan Park)Hi, my name is Susan Park. I’m one of the
INBRE students here at LCC. I’ve been (Susan Park) at LCC for one semester now and I was
invited to this program for this summer. (Susan Park) I am currently majoring, or going to be
majoring, in nursing. However, I’m thinking about doing possibly graduate research now after this. (Matthew Gregorio) Hi. My name is Matthew (Matthew Gregorio) Gregorio. I’m also here at Leeward
Community College. I’m going into biology. (Matthew Gregorio) For future aspirations, hopefully a doctor may be a firefighter. (Matthew Gregorio) We’ll see how life turns out. Just trying to be free. Trying make some money, have a good life. What did you study? (Susan Park) So we were looking at seeing the
genetic variation between the Monarch (Susan Park) butterfly population both within Hawaii,
between the Hawaiian Islands, as well as outside of Hawaii. (Matthew Gregorio) The Monarch butterflies
on the mainland, they migrate. There’s a (Matthew Gregorio) phenomenon called a Great Butterfly Migration when they migrate from northern Canada (Matthew Gregorio) all the way to Mexico. But as of right now, we presume that the Monarchs found (Matthew Gregorio) on Oahu and the surrounding islands do not take part in that migration (Matthew Gregorio) whatsoever. So we’re wondering if the mi- the Monarchs stay stationary on their (Matthew Gregorio) islands or if they migrate from island to island. (Susan Park) This helps with just the evolutionary
history of the Monarch butterfly and (Susan Park) also there’s been recent research that
shows that there’s been a drastic (Susan Park) decline of the Monarch butterfly
population and migration. So that’s why (Susan Park) we want to know more about this species
maybe perhaps to also uncover why the (Susan Park) population is declining. Because Hawaii
is sort of an isolated and diverse place (Susan Park) we’ve seen in our research that there
has been samples we’ve collected in (Susan Park) Hawaii, different locations, that don’t
show very similar genetic relatedness. So (Susan Park) this kind of suggests that there is a
lot of (Susan Park) isolated fragmented populations within the
island itself. How did you find your way into this program? (Matthew Gregorio) So the way i found out about INBRE or this this summer program was that my previous friend Jordan was (Matthew Gregorio) like hey you know what there’s a program coming up where you can get experience (Matthew Gregorio) and you can do research. And because I was a bit I wasn’t too sure exactly what (Matthew Gregorio) I want to go into – I know biology, but
then research was always in the (Matthew Gregorio) foreground, I heard about it, I read about it, but I never actually took part in it. So (Matthew Gregorio) this was an opportunity for me to get my hands dirty and get my and see what I (Matthew Gregorio) can do and see what I can learn and I just saw it as a good opportunity for me to take. (Susan Park) And I’m in a similar vein as
Matt in that I’ve always been interested (Susan Park) in research but never had the
opportunity so I never figured I would (Susan Park) be able to until graduate school. However
our principal investigator, Dr. Kae, asked (Susan Park) me after I took his microbiology lab. So
that’s how I came into the INBRE Program. How could your work be used? (Susan Park) Well, we we think that the sequences that
we are able to acquire could possibly be (Susan Park) placed into the database that has a lot
of the sequences from like mainland, (Susan Park) North America, South America. But I think
Hawaii is a less explored area, so I (Susan Park) think that in that way we can contribute
just to the just to the overall (Susan Park) information we know about the species.
And possibly how there’s there’s always (Susan Park) a possibility for publication in
undergraduate papers or journals and (Susan Park) whatnot that could help. Advice for anyone considering INBRE? (Matthew Gregorio) I think I would just tell them that you know what is your plans over this summer do you want
to make a difference not only in your (Matthew Gregorio) your experience? Do you want to be able to be around individuals that grow you? (Matthew Gregorio) Because I think, coming into it, I was just expecting, you know, we come in, we do some (Matthew Gregorio) stuff isolated. But I would just tell them, you know, it might not seem like a lot of (Matthew Gregorio) fun, but towards the end you know, both experience and the amount of invaluable (Matthew Gregorio) things you gain from it is just it’s
just it’s just nuts because you can you (Matthew Gregorio) can kind of see yourself in the position. You wear a lab coats, you wear gloves, and (Matthew Gregorio) it gives you a sense of oh maybe I could do this in the future. It just it’s a (Matthew Gregorio) very eye-opening situation. It’s very
practical and it gives you, like Susan (Matthew Gregorio) said, a comfortable environment to like throw, not throw you into the fire, maybe (Matthew Gregorio) throw you into (Susan Park) like a toasty oven (Matthew Gregorio) yeah yeah nice kind of
way. But I’ll just tell them that you (Matthew Gregorio) know if you’re looking for a somewhere where you can learn and grow and also (Matthew Gregorio) gain some experience for some resume I would I would definitely do it. (Susan Park) I not only learned like practical skills, hard
skills, but I learned about soft skills (Susan Park) too. Like being able to professionally
write an email to an associate. (Susan Park) Being able to meet a professor, meet a
representative for Monsanto Farms, be (Susan Park) able to conduct yourself professionally.
And like we presented today as well. I (Susan Park) think it’s something I was never
confident in, I always felt nervous about. (Susan Park) So this is you can apply your skills not
only to the lab but everything else in (Susan Park) your life after this.

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