Jessica Citrola: Research Experience

I had Dr. Paciulli for Biology 181 my fall semester of my junior year. Throughout the semester, she encouraged students to get involved with research with her or with other professors on campus. After the semester ended, I asked Dr. Paciulli about her research groups and how I could be involved. I decided to volunteer in her Google Earth Pro research group where we are using satellite imagery on Google Earth Pro in order to calculate forest cover on the Mentawai Islands. Dr. Paciulli used to live on these islands off the coast of Indonesia while doing research on primates. Now, she is using the information we find on Google Earth Pro to determine the amount of land deforested by the natives and how it may be affecting primate populations. During the fall semester of my senior year, Dr. Paciulli offered me a paid position as her research assistant. Since I am applying to graduate school, I was very happy about gaining better research experience. Now, I am working in her Major Urinary Proteins (MUPs) research group and in the Google Earth Pro group. In the MUPs research group, I am being trained to use a gel electrophoresis procedure in the laboratory in order to find major urinary proteins in lemurs. MUPs are responsible for important behaviors in certain animals, such as mice. I am really glad I decided to get involved in research during undergrad, especially with Dr. Paciulli. She truly cares about the success of her students, volunteers, and research assistants and has become a helpful resource while applying to Masters in Environmental Sciences programs.