Are you interested in conducting independent research in the Touchon Lab?
If you are motivated and mature, and are interested in conducting research at Vassar College, I encourage you to contact me about designing a potential project. There are many possible avenues for research, either with local species on the Vassar Farm, using my lab colony of Dendropsophus ebraccatus treefrogs, or potentially even in the field in Panama. See the Research page for overviews of my research, and check out the Lab News page for information on projects that current students are working on. Some projects are more ecological in nature, some are more behavioral, some may even be genetic in their nature (although we are not quite there yet with the lab colony).
What should you expect if you work with me?
Essentially, I view all projects as hopefully being good enough to publish. Why else would we conduct the research? However, producing high quality research, which includes data analysis and writing, takes time. Lots of time! Thus, I encourage you to contact me early. If, for example, you are interested in conducting Independent Senior Research (BIOL 303), then you should contact me in your Junior year to begin designing a project. You may even conduct the experiment(s) and collect the data during your Junior year, leaving your Senior year for writing.
Together, we will design a project with clear goals and outcomes, and we will establish a time line for the experiment(s) that you will conduct and we will make deadlines for data analysis and writing projects. I invest a substantial amount of time in all of my students and as a result I expect a high level of responsibility from you. I am a relatively hands-on advisor. I will work with you to teach you how to analyze your data (using the program R) and we will work very closely on writing many drafts of your paper.