Zach is interested in biodiversity, genetics, genomics, evolution
Projects and Research
Spring 2017 -- Designing an introductory level bioinformatics course for college freshmen or AP high school students. Research into this topic has just begun, with a draft due to the professor on February 23rd 2017 and the final draft due on April 1st 2017.
Spring 2015 -- I worked with a professor as a student research assistant in a study aimed at estimating the population of two variants of the peppered moth: the white and black variant and the black variant. The study wished to assess the effects the local distilleries manufacturing processes had on the surrounding forests. During this time, I placed and retrieved moth traps and assisted in determining captured specimens’ species.
Designed an experiment to determine the effects of various wavelengths of light on Alaskan snow pea plant growth. Peas were imbibed under dark conditions and grown under specified light conditions. Measurements included plant length, leaf number, and leaf color.
Fall 2014 -- I assisted in conducting an ecological survey of Bear Grass Creek Greenway in Louisville, KY. The study focused on developing an estimate of the various species of trees present in the greenway, with information on their sizes and estimations of their ages. Additional information was gathered on the various animal species residing in the greenway, although far less extensive than the information gathered about the trees. I also conducted a water quality test quantifying the presence of E. coli.
Spring 2013 -- Successfully recombined the plasmid PBR322 within Escherichia coli with the pGFPuv gene while enrolled in a genetics course at Indiana University Southeast. The project involved analyzing the DNA sequence of PBR322 in order to insert pGFPuv gene into areas of antibiotic resistance within the PBR322 plasmid. The recombined plasmid was then cloned within a colony of E. coli. After having been cloned, the recombination was tested for success by swabbing colonies onto petri dishes infused with antibiotics. Out of 10 satellite sites swabbed and transferred, 9 were successful.
Spring 2017 -- Plant Physiology Supplemental Instructor, Indiana University Southeast
Reinforces topics covered by the teaching professor for a Plant Physiology course. Works closely with the teaching professor to address student needs.
Winter 2016 – Present -- DNA Sequencing Technician, Eurofins Genomics, Louisville, KY
Processes incoming shipments per laboratory protocol. Enters necessary information into order tracking system. Maps and builds 96-well plates for DNA sequencing. Prepares stock reaction mixtures.
Spring 2016 -- Student Teacher, New Albany High School
Completed 10 weeks of student teaching in a high school classroom where I was assigned to teach biology, chemistry, and physics to high school students. Work primarily consisted of planning lessons, units, designing coursework, writing quizzes and tests, and grading papers.
Spring 2015 – Fall 2015 -- Molecular Biology Supplemental Instructor, Indiana University Southeast
Reinforced topics covered by the teaching professor for a Molecular Biology course. Presented information in a variety of ways to students, gathering information from personal experience with the course as well as outside sources.
I have had extensive training and education in the field of biology. I have taken courses involving lab and field work including General Biology 1 & 2, Genetics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry 1 & 2, Evolution, Plant Physiology, Ecology, and Entomology. I understand standard lab and field procedures, disposal protocol, and safety measures. Additionally, during my classes at Indiana University Southeast, I have acquired experience with the following equipment and techniques:
--Micropipetting (specifically with the P20 and P200)
--DNA extraction and purification
--Tree age estimation
--Population estimates of different species
--Python programming language
--MS Access SQL