Here is a photo of one my gels. which are used to tell you about the quality of extracted DNA. In essence this serves as a quality-control check for your DNA to ensure it hasn't started degrading. It is also a work of agarose art so for those of you who haven't had the chance to nervously pipette tiny quantities of DNA into an agarose gel, you can vicariously experience the picturesque product here.
I am analyzing data from this summer's experiments and I am excited to start thinking about what the numbers mean. One of the exciting parts of the analysis is determining how the data looks compared with your hypotheses and initial predictions. Beyond hypothesis testing, I always find it enlightening to notice how many new questions I start to formulate while thinking about my recently collected data- it is such an organic way of determining future directions for research efforts.
Since it is my last week in Vancouver (for this trip at least), I have also been trying to squeeze in last trips to the parks I've enjoyed hiking and running through this summer. I look forward to a return trip to British Columbia and hopefully back out to the field to collect more data to answer some of the new questions I have been pondering. My research on hemlock forests and plant and ant communities was just published in Southeastern Naturalist this past week in the hemlock woolly adelgid special issue (you can find the article here), and as it turns out my lab-mate here at UBC also published their previous research in the special issue as well.
I feel really privileged to have had to opportunity to spend the past 2.5 months here in Vancouver and I look forward to continued collaborations.