A Passion for Research: Video Transcript

Olivia Wetsch [senior major in Biology, Class of 2018]: My sophomore year and knew I wanted to get involved in some kind of research, so I contacted several professors and just asked them what kind of opportunities they had. Dr. [Michelle] Boone answered and said that she had one of her graduate students, which was Tyler [Hoskins], he needed some help just feeding frogs from one of his studies. So, I started feeding his frogs and then eventually was able to do my own study and got more and more involved in the lab.

The study me and Tyler did together, it was funded by National Geographic and Miami. It was a field study, and we collected frogs from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, and we're looking at each of them for parasites and other diseases, and we took some water samples to look at pesticides and things that were in the water.

At the ERC [Ecology Research Center], we have some ponds, like, they're called mesocosms that we have set up, and each one has a different treatment, so some of them will have parasites, and some of them won't, and things like that. Then we raise frogs in those, so they're tadpoles, and when they're frogs we take them out. Once they become frogs, we take them into the lab, and we have them in individual beaker terrestria.

We used this program that told us where all of the different ponds are in Butler and Preble county. So then we picked which ones we wanted to go to, and we contacted the landlords who owned the ponds and just asked them if they would mind if we came out and collected some of their frogs. The ones who said yes, we went out there with just some nets and caught some frogs and took some water samples.

The species we are studying, they're called cricket frogs, and there is some evidence that they're declining, and no one's really sure why. So part of this research has been trying to figure out why they’re declining so we can help conserve the species.

It's just given me definitely like more passion for research. I was kind of thinking about it when I first started out at Miami, but now I've really seen it, and I know what it's like, and I really like it!

[January 2018]