Information for Prospective Undergraduate Students

Research lab experience as an undergraduate is an important part of your education in deciding what you enjoy, what you do not enjoy, and to better understand what you could enjoy. To give you an idea of what goes on in our lab, common techniques used include PCR, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatics (data mining). The intent of these opportunities is to provide undergraduate students with hands on experience addressing various aquaculture and conservation issues using advanced molecular techniques. There are several options for receiving credit, including internship (Fish 498), independent research (Fish 499) and Capstone (Fish 494 and 495.) For more info about these options and the forms, please see the SAFS Undergraduate Independent Study website. Normally, I will take up to 2 undergraduate students at any given time, so please contact me early if you are interested.


Before getting started, regardless of the capacity, there are a few logistical issues and web platforms you should be familar with.

  • Contract
  • Lab Calendar
  • Lab Wiki (notebook)
  • Safety Protocols
  • Google+ Community
  • Lab Meetings
  • Blog Posting


Please find fundamental "rules of the road" in this document. Print this out and I will go over the contract with you and answer any questions. You will need to provide me a signed copy.

Lab Calendar

As indicated in the contract, you will need to maintain your schedule on the lab calendar. A common mistake of newbies is they will make a calendar entry but it will be in the personal calendar and not the the lab calendar (thus we cannot see).

Lab Wiki

You need to maintain a lab notebook at Anyone can view the wiki, however to edit, you will need to join (see below). You should become familar with material on the wiki to learn what others are doing, and about protocols, safety, and lab meetings.


Guidelines for notebook entries On a daily basis you will need to document your research activities. This might just be an observation or reflection on what you experienced that day or a more detailed plan of work and description of results. Entries need to be organized by date and in reverse chronological order.

Archiving data
In many instances you will be generating new data, taking photos, or there will be some other file type that you will need to include in your notebook. While wikispaces does have the ability to host files, you need to maintain data on the network attached storage device known as eagle. There are a couple of means to upload data to eagle. The most straight forward means is to navigate to, click on login, enter in the given username and password. Navigate to >File Station > web > scaphopoda. Create a folder in scaphopoda and upload your content in this folder. Then you can go to and view any file. Within in the wiki you can embed files using the given url of a file on eagle.


Please refrain from using any non alpha-numeric (including spaces) in file and folder names

Safety Protocols & Laboratory Tour

During your first week in the lab Sam White will provide you with a detail tour of the lab to make sure you are familar with layout and safety protocols. Please print the Roberts Lab Safety Training Form and bring it with you.


Our primary means of communication in the lab is through a private Google+ community. This is in lieu of email, providing a simple means of archiving, searching, and easy user management.


Lab Meetings

Lab Meetings are held in FTR209 on a weekly basis. Within the Google+ Community there will be an event and you can also see the time of lab meeting on the calendar. The time is subject to change. You can catch up on meetings you missed or older meetings by listening to archived audio recordings.

Blog Posting

On a weekly basis (minimally) you have the opportunity to share with the general public about what you are learning, doing, or any insightful thoughts on your experiences. Instructions are available here.