Our Staff

Katherine (Kit) McDonnell's picture
DNA Discovery Center Resident
Year Started: 

This summer I am one of the "live specimens" found behind glass in the DNA Discovery Center/Pritzker Lab, pipette in hand! I am a research coodinator for the High School Residency program and am working closely with the bird team that's researching two flycatchers, the Alder and Willow, which can only be differentiated by their songs and genetics. I am also a research assistant in the Birds Division where I am sequencing the genomes of a genus of African birds, commonly called crimsonwings, and databasing collections with the computer program KE EMu. In the fall, I will be a junior at Tufts University and am majoring in biology. 

This is my fourth summer in the lab -- in the past I've researched malaria, acacia ants, bats, shrews, and a few other organisms! I absolutely love working at the Field because I am constantly learning something new, whether it's by talking to a curator about a new research project or discovering a secret staircase behind the scenes or exploring the 25 million specimens in the Collections Resource Center! I also really enjoy interacting with museum visitors on a daily basis through the DNA Discovery Center's Talk to the Scientist Hour (11am-noon), since this is a regular way to show the public what fascinating research is happening at the Field and teach others some of the ways in which we go about answering research questions!