In my opinion, the only way for students to make a good choice about research as a career option is to be exposed to a research environment. Over 100 undergraduates have worked in my lab for periods ranging from a summer to over 3 years. I am very happy when students catch the research “bug” and decide to pursue graduate school, but I am equally happy when they recognize that research is not for them and that they should explore other options.
My lab uses experimental evolution in the laboratory to study how physiological systems evolve. We subject populations of fruitflies (Drosophila) to stressful conditions and investigate how they evolve in response to stress over many generations. Our current major projects involve flies that have been selected for resistance to desiccation and starvation stress for >100 generations. To understand the relevance of this laboratory research to nature, we have also studied several other types of insects and their relatives, including grasshoppers, ants, desert fruitflies, scorpions, etc.