Cassandra Barrett

Where did you transfer from?

University of Oregon

Why did you want to come to the University?

I came to the University because they have good academics and a separate college for biological sciences.

What are you researching?

My mentor and I are investigating sunk-cost behavior in rats, as they make decisions about foraging. We are investigating this using a novel model that we feel more accurately represents natural foraging situations. I really wanted to get experience working with live animal subjects, and I really enjoy learning about behavioral psychology and neuroscience in the lab. Investigating sunk-cost behavior in lower-order mammals could shine new light on the origins of this sometimes less than economic behavior, which was for a long time thought to be solely human.

What have you gotten out of this experience?

I have improved my ability to work with data and data analysis software and troubleshoot when I run into problems. It's been cool to work a lab and become familiar with the dynamics of research labs.

What are you interests outside of school?

Cooking, baking, hiking, running, and poetry writing.

Do you participate in any extracurricular activities?

I volunteer in a microbial ecology lab a few days during the week and I am the president of a campus student club for discussing controversial issues in the life sciences.

What are you plans for the future?

I want to continue doing as much undergraduate research as possible. I love to actually be 'doing science' rather than just learning about it in the classroom. I would like to participate in an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and I am looking at various summer research internships. 

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