Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Rebecca’s first encounter with hands-on microbiological research happened during the Week Without Walls program (WOW), a collaboration between the University Prep High School in Seattle and University of Washington. A group of students from University Prep accompanied by biology teacher, Dr. Jessica Hanson, joined the MO team on a cruise in Lake Washington during which sediment samples were collected, and a variety of experiments were subsequently initiated after arrival back to the lab. After two days of intense exposure to microbiological tricks and techniques including microscopy, DNA isolation and PCR amplification, Rebecca decided she wanted to learn even more. She joined the MO group as a summer researcher and carried out a number of important experiments under the supervision of Dr. Kalyuzhnaya. One of her projects has been optimization of extraction of microbial cells from environmental samples essential for FISH analysis. She has also started dilution-to-extinction enrichment experiments in order to isolate as many methylotrophic bacteria from Lake Washington as could be isolated. These were performed in a 96-well format, in the presence of one of the following substrates: methane, methanol, methylamine, formaldehyde, and formate.
Rebecca returned to the lab in the summer of 2005, after graduating from high school. She completed the work on pure culture isolation and characterization that she had started the year before. A total of 40 strains have been identified and classified.
In the fall of 2005 Rebecca started as a freshman student at Scripps College in California.
Kalyuzhnaya, M.G., S. Bowerman, M.E., Zabinsky R., M.E. Lidstrom, and L. Chistoserdova. FISH-flow cytometry-based enrichment of Type I and Type II methanotroph populations from the sediment of Lake Washington. In Preparation.
Kalyuzhnaya, M.G., R. Zabinsky, S. Bowerman, M.E. Lidstrom and L. Chistoserdova. The methylotroph community in Lake Washington sediment, assessed via cultivation. In Preparation.