2017 January to April
2016 January to April
2015 September to December
2015 May to June
"It was a great experience to study programmed cell death in plant cells. Coming from a background that involves studying animal cells, it was interesting to observe the different approaches and results of plant cells. It broadened my perspectives on different research topics and settings."
2015 January to April
My name is Brittney and I completed BIO 3800 Experiential Learning in my third year of university. I thoroughly enjoyed this learning experience and being a part of the Gunawardena lab. Through this experience, I have gained further knowledge of plant programmed cell death. Experiential learning provided a hands-on experience which allowed me to further develop both my experimental design and presentation skills. Based on this positive experience, I have decided to continue work in the Gunawardena lab as an honours student. I would highly recommend Experiential Learning to other students, as it was a great learning experience.
2014 January to April
2013 Sepetmber to December
Hi, my name is James Sayre. I am a 3rd year biology student with a keen interest for what I'm studying. Outside of school, I am a member of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserves. I have been in the armed forces for nearly three years, joining in 2010. I first meet Dr. Gunawardena in her Diversity of plants lecture. She had spoken about her research of PCD (Programmed Cell Death) in class and very quickly grabbed my attention with her work. I had always been interested in working in a genuine biology lab, and when I heard about Experiential learning, I had to take the opportunity which presented its self. Having sent out some introductory letters to some of the biology faculty to show my interest, Dr. Gunawardena replied asking if I was interested in pursuing research. I jumped at the chance and haven’t looked back since. I feel very lucky to be able to help with Dr. Gunawardena's work, and am looking forward to continuing to volunteer in her lab. My time doing experiential learning has been some of the most enriching work I have done to date, and I highly recommend others who are interested in research work to pursue it as well.
2013 January to April
My involvement in the Experimental Learning program was extremely advantageous, as I was able to participate in a research study for the first time while gaining excess knowledge on the mechanics behind designing an experiment. My experience was everything I expected and more, as I was able to fully grasp the amount of hard work it takes to execute a successful experiment. I found my research to be exceptionally interesting and I would definitely recommend this program to other students in the Faculty of Science.
I am currently in my fourth year of study at Dalhousie University in my Bachelor of Science major in biology degree. I began working in the PCD lab since the summer of 2012 and recently completed the experiential learning course with the lace plant. A recurring issue of infected lace plant corms had me searching through various protocols in order to identify the most efficient sterilizing technique to be able to reintroduce the infected corms in to sterile conditions. In total three different protocols were tested using green viable lace plant corms. Ethanol and bleach, bleach alone, and finally mercuric chloride were the different sterilizing chemicals used throughout the duration of the experiment. In addition, out of the three sterilizing agents the mercuric chloride provided the most promising results. Nonetheless, I am currently continuing my experiential learning research project as a volunteer to provide more reproducible data for a publication under the supervision of Dr. Gunawardena.
2012 Sepetmber to December
For my experiential learning, I conducted research into anthocyanin, a pigment which makes juvenile lace plant leaves pink in colour, and its role in perforation formation in the lace plant. Dr. Gunawardena met with me on a weekly basis to go over my progress, and to help me solve the obstacles that occur when doing research. The skills I gained included: making liquid and solid medium, sterile tissue culturing techniques, experience with excel spreadsheets, and managing my time wisely during the experiment. The experience to conduct one’s own research at the undergraduate level is a rare privilege, and the experiential learning course allowed me to get acquainted with lab work and familiar with conducting research. I would highly recommend that people take this course if they are wishing to gain some experience in a lab, and are interested in whether the research environment is a good fit as a career. In addition, the course is pass/fail, and does not contribute to one’s GPA, which may make taking the course more inviting, as it can reduce some of the stress of working in a new environment.
Experiential Learning- BIOL 3800