Thirteen Connecticut College seniors have been named Winthrop Scholars, the highest academic honor bestowed by the college.
Biological sciences major Phoebe Winn ’13 was recently awarded a Yale University Chapter of Sigma Xi research grant to present her honors thesis research at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution this weekend.
Winn’s thesis research is in the growing field of behavioral genetics. Under the direction of Professor Phillip Barnes, she studied the mating preferences of genetically modified fruit flies, testing different hypotheses for why flies that have been modified to be DDT-resistant are much more likely to mate with other modified flies, rather than flies from a wild control group.
“This research should help us better understand the genetics of the early stages of the development of prezygotic isolation during speciation,” Winn says.
Winn is looking forward to presenting her research to fellow biologists at the meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution in Snowbird, Utah, this weekend. She says she has been inspired by her professors, especially Barnes and Biology Lecturer Kris Hardeman, and by her peers.
“We challenge each other with healthy competition, but we also support each other when we need it,” Winn says of her fellow students.
Winn, who graduated from Connecticut College in May, is working as a laboratory research technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Eventually, she plans to apply to medical school.
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