My Summer Research With the Emerald Ash Borer

From the CFAES Blog > Research

Michael Falk, Environmental Science major (research internship, P. Bonello lab)

Over the course of my summer internship in the Department of Plant Pathology, we traveled to the Tollgate research plot in Novi, Michigan to conduct fieldwork on three separate occasions. In June, we drove up to take baseline samples and artificially inoculate the trees with Emerald Ash Borer eggs. A follow up trip in July involved harvesting additional samples after the eggs had hatched, and a final trip in August was made to harvest whole trees for gallery analysis.

The overall goal behind these outings was to collect samples for analysis that may allow better understanding of the mechanisms associated with ash resistance to the Emerald Ash Borer.

On a personal level, however, the trips were even more valuable. Conducting fieldwork associated with activities conducted in the lab allowed me to gain a new perspective on scientific research as a whole. Processing and analyzing samples that I physically collected has created a greater appreciation for lab work, as well as my project in general.

Additionally, the trips provided an opportunity to interact with and better know my co-workers. Overall, my summer experiences were thus very rewarding and have made me excited to start another year working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant.