Kristine Kolkman

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
I conduct research with Dr. Thomas Carew at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. My specific project is involved with identifying and classifying serotonergic neurons in the marine mollusk Aplysia Californica.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I became very interested in doing research during my second year at UCI. To learn about the specific areas of research in neurobiology at UCI, I read all the faculty profiles in that area. Dr. Carew's work sounded interesting to me, so I contacted him and the rest is history.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

My research experience has been one of the best experiences of my undergraduate education so far. Researching is a great way to learn; it helps me with my classes and vice versa. Its pretty neat to be sitting in a lecture and listen to a professor talk about something that I learned about in my lab. Also, having to apply the information I learn in my classes helps me to further appreciate my education at UCI as a whole. In my opinion, an integral part of studying science is learning to appreciate how people acquire scientific knowledge.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
My time in the Carew lab has been full of great opportunities but one of my favorite experiences was going to the Learning and Memory Conference at UCI in November 2001. I was one of the youngest and least educated people there, but I was surprised at how much of the information I understood. I got to meet some great people and learn about some amazing research.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

My future plans are still uncertain; I'm in the process of deciding whether to pursue medicine, research, or both. However, I know that in whatever I plan to do, research will have benefited me. Research has helped me to ask questions and develop strong problem-solving skills. These are skills that will aid me in any career pursuit.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

Start early! If your classes are going well and you have the time to really get involved in a research project, then get started right away. Also, make sure that you find a field of research that really interests you. If you're excited about your project then you'll learn more and have a better experience. You'll have a great time while learning new skills and concepts!

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '01 Anna Kaiser
Nov. '01 Sunny Staton
Oct. '01 Kristine Kolkman
Sep. '01 Raquel Fernandez
Aug. '01 Temre Davies
Jul. '01 Krikor Andonian
Jun. '01 Elizabeth Kirchner
May '01 Joshua Neil
Apr. '01 Alia Shbeeb
Mar. '01 Qyana Griffith
Feb. '01 Reshmi Basu
Jan. '01 Yousuke Hamai
Recent Year