Who are you?
I am Rachel McNemee, an undergraduate researcher in the lab.
Why did you become a scientist?
I have a strong passion for conservation education with an interest in zookeeping, I actually fell into this position my sophomore year. What was going to be a small paid position assisting in cleaning and maintenance in the lab, actually turned into a three-year journey of working along side graduate students with data collection answering questions about sexual evolution.
What are you interested in?
I have a strong interest in sexual selection and sexual morphology. In the lab, I work on the morphological evolution of fish living in toxic environments and try to find the differences in their reproductive structures.
How does a typical day look like for you?
I assist in whatever needs to be done! Every day, I am in charge of tank maintenance and organization of the specimen collection. However, each week I am tagged onto projects to help analyze or collect data for graduate students and their work.
What do you like best about what you do?
I am pushed to step out of my comfort zone to answer tough questions and help demonstrate why this science is important. I love that each day is different, and I am able to be involved in spreading the important knowledge to help others answer their own questions.
What were your childhood dreams?
I always knew I wanted to be involved with Biology and conservation since I was a kid. I dreamt of working with exotic animals and spreading the love I had for the conservation of these lands and wildlife through expanding my knowledge in research and sharing it with the public.
What are your aspirations for the future?
In the future, I want to become a Zookeeper working with large carnivores. I would like to stay involved with science communication and citizen science by continuing bird watching and attending local conferences.