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Briggs collage

LBC graduate publishes in The Great Lakes Entomologist

Megan sorts pupae as part of her
undergraduate research project.

LBC graduate, Megan Frayer, has recently published a paper in The Great Lakes Entomologist. Her paper is titled “Phenological Attributes and Phylogenetic Relationships of Rhagoletis juniperina Marcovitch (Diptera: Tephritidae) in the Great Lakes Region.”

This paper represents the culmination of four years of effort in Dr. Jim Smith’s lab. Megan worked in the lab her first two years as a Professorial Assistant through the Honors College. She was supported as a research assistant for two more years by Dr. Smith’s lab funds. Megan graduate from LBC in 2014 and is now in her first year of a Ph.D. program in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Megan wrote a brief reflection on her experience at LBC and her current work as a Ph.D. student:

Being in Lyman Briggs was one of the best parts of my undergraduate career. The faculty, staff and students create an environment that fosters our natural interests in science while preparing us to think critically about every aspect of our work from the technical choices to the scientific motivation to the philosophical consequences. I think that many current Briggs students would be surprised by how often I have appreciated my HPS classes just in my first year of graduate school. Lyman Briggs also gave me opportunities to combine my education with teaching and research. I was a biology undergraduate learning assistant for two years and I participated in research in Dr. Jim Smith's lab for 4 years. These were both invaluable experiences going into graduate school. I would not be in graduate school at all if it were not for my experiences in Dr. Smith's lab. I was given the opportunity to take a project from beginning to end, including presenting at a conference and publishing. My project focused on the juniper fruit fly, Rhagoletis juniperina, and the highlight of every fall was getting to collect fruit from the juniper trees on Farm Lane Bridge. The work made me realize how much I loved research and the scientific process. I am currently a first year graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying speciation in house mouse hybrid zones. I intend to complete my Ph.D. and then go on to a career in research. I cannot imagine a better start to this path than the experience that I had as a student in Lyman Briggs.