Natasha Batten ’15 spent two summers working with Dr. Barbara Ambrose, Associate Curator of Plant Genomics at The New York Botanical Garden. She contributed to several “mini projects,” that served as ground- or support-work for a number of larger research initiatives. The goal of each of her projects: understanding the genetic basis of fruit diversity.
During her first summer at The Garden, Natasha focused on the structural elements of fruits using classical botanical techniques; her work shifted to the molecular side during her second summer internship, which involved extracting DNA, cloning, subcloning, and sequence analysis. Natasha, who went on to study chemical and biological engineering at MIT, believes that her time at NYBG gave her a solid foundation for future scientific study.
“The experience gave me a good introduction to molecular genetics. Though the work was with plants, the principles are really universal and will extend to human biology,” says Batten. “The internship was an integral step in my academic and career path.”