Miranda Haskins  

Major:  Biology B.A.

Email:  haskinsm@slu.edu

I am from St. Louis, Missouri. In my senior year of high school, my AP Biology teacher requested that we write out a page and a half of organic structures of some biochemical reactions.  I, not understanding the purpose of such tedious work, decided to complain.  Her response was, "Miranda, you are so meticulous...you would make a good biologist."  While attending college classes that involved a lot more work than what I was required to do in her class, I decided I liked it much more than anticipated.  Biology, being the study of life, includes so many aspects that pertain to our human existence.  I love knowing that this meticulousness has got me researching and studying some of the more interesting aspects of biology and has motivated me to continue my studies to acquire more knowledge that will be very beneficial in a health-related career.

In January, I plan to start my Masters of Science research here at St. Louis University in the concentration of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics.  I hope to continue my studies in the efficiency of the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase I, as a genetic barcode and the utility of these “universal” primers.  In the near future I plan to possibly do research at the Smithsonian Institute in D.C.  In addition, I also anticipate continuing in various areas of research and perhaps acquire a Ph.D.

I would like to expand my knowledge of systematic biology by familiarizing myself with the lab techniques used in ultimately constructing a phylogeny of different species of freshwater fishes.  I would like to perfect my skills in running PCR gel electrophoresis with the use of different primers and examine the relationship between different gene sequences and their contribution to speciation.  In the end, I plan to become a more skilled research biologist and meet new people while doing so that have the same goals and determination as myself.  

There are many things that I find entertaining when I find free time.  I love to travel, especially internationally.  I have been to a few countries in both South and Central America and I plan to go back, but January of next year I will be going to Europe.  I love to spend the day riding with my friend on his tandem bike on various excursions throughout St. Louis.  I have also found interest in snowboarding all over the country including, the Northern states, Aspen, and Salt Lake City.  I, in addition, love to play softball and tennis.  But sometimes, it just feels good to relax and enjoy the company of good people.

Funny fact- I HATE fishing.  My dad loves to fish and as a child he would take me out on the boat.  The first fish I ever caught was a 3 lb. Bass.  I refused to “de-hook” him in fear that it would bite me.  My dad insisted fish don’t bite and convinced me to hold it up for the camera.  I did as I was told with my own reservations and coincidently the fish ended up taking a huge chomp out of my thumb.  I still have the scar today to prove it.  My dad has since taken me fishing and after much patience, I decided sunbathing better suited me.