Yuleny Gomez

I am studying Salt marsh food webs using stable isotope analysis of Carbon and Nitrogen

Student, Biology

Tell us a little about yourself and your research project.

I am Biology Major with a minor in Chemistry and French. I am studying Salt marsh food webs using stable isotope analysis of Carbon and Nitrogen. I am  focusing on the lower trophic levels  because they are not as well understood as the higher trophic levels (apex predators).

How did you first find out about undergraduate research opportunities at UNC Charlotte?

I found out about undergraduate research from a study group I formed while taking Organic Chemistry. One of the students mentioned being in a research lab and talked to me about the OUR and BIOL3900. From there I reached out to Dr.Lopez-Duarte asking if she would be willing to give me an undergraduate research opportunity in her lab.

How has your research experience prepared you for your next goals or career?

My research experience has completely changed my career goals. I came to UNCC with the intention of preparing for medical school and after doing ecological research and introduced to marine ecology I would like to purse graduate school in marine biology. My semester in the lab turned into a summer internship and then evolved into applying for the Honors program.

What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research and what would you say to a student who says, “research is not for me”?

Anybody can do research, you just have to find what interests you! The only way to explore your interests is to expose yourself to different things and you’ll quickly figure out if its right for you.

What is one thing that you learned about yourself from this research experience?

That I enjoy ecology more than I enjoyed my courses preparing myself to be a doctor.