Summer Roadmap

Photo by Nathan Hurst on Unsplash

Busy times ahead!

I’ve not written in a couple of weeks due to a busy end of term, but I thought I’d just explain here what I’m going to be up to over this summer! I’m certainly going to be having lots of exciting and challenging experiences which I look forward to.

1: Exams

First of all, I have exams between 1st April and 18th May, all essays but with a lot of overlap, totalling 8500 words which is going to be a challenge:

  1. Energy and Evolution essay 1500 words 1st-29th April.
  2. Fundamentals of Ecology 2 essays each 1000 words 20th April – 18th May.
  3. Evolutionary Genetics 2 essays each 1000 words 16th April – 14th May.
  4. Experimental Genetics essay 1000 words 26th April – 10th May.
  5. Integrative Cell Biology 2 essays each 1000 words May 12th (24 hour exam).

2: Lab placement with UCL’s Professor Richard Mott

Then, once exams end, I will start the first of two periods I am going to be working with Professor Richard Mott who taught me BIOL0030: Computational Biology this year. I will be modelling a number of founders of MAGIC wheat populations computationally as haplotype mosaics of data from a 2020 wheat pangenome publication.

This placement will take place over two periods, firstly between 18th May and 27th June, and secondly between 21st August and 31st September, totalling nearly 3 months, and will be done remotely.

3: John Innes Centre’s International Undergraduate Summer School with Professor Richard Morris

I have been fortunate to have been selected as in a group of 16 from more than 500 applicants to the JIC’s International Undergraduate Summer School in Norwich. I will be working in the lab of Professor Richard Morris, modelling gene regulatory networks in Brassica.

This summer school will be taking place between 27th June and 21st August (hence the split in the previous lab placement). I will be living on campus in Norwich for the period.

4: Polytunnel Project

So far, the polytunnel project is going fantastically! The peach tree has beautiful blossom, and the apricot tree is full of leaves now. Also, I have planted a tomato and pepper plant bought from a garden store in one of the raised beds. I have also sown a number of seeds (10 okra, 4 tomato, 4 pepper, 2 melon, 4 watermelon) in biodegradable pots to be planted later.

This summer, before I head off to Norwich, I will be finishing the planting, putting together a support structure for the melons, cucumbers, and aubergines, and setting up a regulated watering system, most likely in the weekends of the period 18th May to 27th June.

5: Royal Society of Biology Industry Skills Certificate

I was successfully elected an associate student member of the Royal Society of Biology at the start of April. By the end of this year I hope to complete the RSB’s Industry Skills Certificate. I have already taken one module “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Biological Application”, and I will be taking “Programming for Biologists” in the last two weeks of April. Furthermore, over the summer I intend to take the “Core Business Skills for Biologists”, “Personal Skills for Leadership”, and “Unconscious Bias” courses to complete this broad course.

Additionally, I will be taking “Persuasive Scientific Writing” and “Introduction to Reproducible Analyses in R” to further support my studies. All courses will be done along side summer placements and on weekends.

6: UCL Genetics Society President

Last month I was successfully elected President of the UCL Genetics Society with a 72% vote. During the period of 21st August to the start of the Winter Term I will be working with the other elected committee members to prepare the society for a new year. This will include:

  1. Building a website and Discord server.
  2. Organising committee meetings in the lead up to the beginning of term.
  3. Planning a number of regular events to be run throughout the term, including a number of special events for freshers week.
  4. Contacting the elected leaders of other UCL Bioscience societies and UK University Genetics societies to plan collaborations well ahead of time.
  5. Better understanding each leadership role with help from the previous committee, for which I was previously Education Officer.

That’s all! I hope I manage to get everything done and have fun along the way.

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