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Aya Abe


Kanagawa, Japan
Biology and Psychology
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In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Learning biology gives you a deeper understanding of life.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
Initially, I chose to study biology simply because I liked animals. As I continued to take biology courses, however, I became interested in many different fields of biology, such as ecology, physiology and animal behavior. There are numberless things to learn in each field that I am interested in, and curiosity is my main motivation to continue to study biology.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
I would suggest you to look for research opportunities as early as possible, if your goal is to become a researcher. Rich research experiences would give you opportunities to think what you are really interested in.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I really enjoy playing with my cat, Gigi. Whenever she does something strange, it’s very fun to think why she behaves in a certain way by applying the concepts I learned in biology classes.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I learned to be greedy and proactive in the learning environment as well as the research environment.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Vertebrate biology has been my most favorite class at K. I learned evolutionary history of vertebrates through lectures and comparative anatomy lab. We dissected various vertebrates, from lamprey to rat and learned how the evolutionary history is reflected onto physical structures of extant vertebrates.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is about how anthropogenic structures (such as buildings and concrete sidewalks) influence acoustic signal transmissions of Chipping Sparrows. I did my research in Dr. Sharon Gill’s lab at Western Michigan University.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
Go to a graduate school and become a researcher! I am looking for graduate school opportunities in the field of physiological ecology or animal behavior.

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