Research Has Broadened My Classroom Experience
Getting involved with research was the best decision I have made during my time at Drexel. My research at the Academy of Natural Sciences combines informatics, modeling, systematic biology and entomology to digitize biodiversity data, explore trends, and discover new species. This is facilitated through an entomology collection of approximately 4 million specimens! My research advisor, Dr. Gelhaus, is not only a fantastic person to work under, but also someone whom I know I can go to for academic and career advice.
I have also been able to take classroom labs and lectures and apply them to my own research. Among the most interesting of these classroom experiences are molecular ecology, phylogenetics, and diversity gradients. Members of my lab also take trips to various locations to participate in collection events, including Valley Forge National Historical Park and the Franklin Parker Preserve in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
Research has augmented my professional life as well. It has allowed me to make connections within my field, as well as with graduate students and faculty. The BEES Department has a tightly knit research community that is welcoming to anyone interested in learning more outside of the classroom. I strongly encourage everyone to get involved, even if for a couple hours a week.
Vaughn Shirey is an Environmental Science major from Pottstown, PA.