Irene Fobe ('14 Biology with minor in Psychology)

Photo of Irene Fobe What do you do for your undergraduate research?

I am developing a protocol in a Radial Arm Maze to test for episodic-like memory in rats in relation to the Optimal Foraging Theory. I am trying to see if the rats can exhibit "What, Where, When memory" while observing how these qualities of memory aid them to forage optimally in accordance with the Optimal Foraging Theory.

What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?

I have always been hands on learner. I wanted some experience animal training and some experience with experimental research since upon graduation I would like to get into marine mammal training or graduate level research. This project is a challenge that is preparing me for what I would like to do in the future.

How did you start your research project?

I started my research project by volunteering in Dr. Bruce and Dr. Galizio's Behavioral Pharmacology and Comparative Cognition lab. I collected data for graduate students and attended weekly lab lectures and realized that comparative cognition was an area of study that I found to be very interesting. Then I decided to do an honors project with Dr. Bruce!

Was doing your own research fun? Be Honest.

Yes, doing my own research was fun! It was nice to be able to put everything together and see it unfold.

It isn't required to do research as an undergrad, so what advantages do you think this experience has provided you?

My undergraduate research has provided me with an understanding of the nature of being a scientist. It is not easy work, it requires a lot of time and dedication and in doing this project, I am conditioning myself to continue participating in research at a graduate level.

What recognition and/or grants did you receive for your research?

I received the Georgia and Gary Miller Fellowship award and the CSURF Research Supplies Award.

What are your plans after you receive your degree from UNCW?

I would like to work at least another internship in the marine mammal field, since I am graduating in December and have 6 months before any schools start back up. Following my next internship, I hope to be attending graduate school and studying something that I am passionate about.

Click here to view more Research Stories!