Briana Cooney (’15) Undergraduate

BrianaCooneyI began volunteering in the Foster/Baker lab during my sophomore year.   I have always had a passion for helping animals and the environment, and even when I was young, I found myself wondering why different animals behaved or evolved certain ways.  When I discovered that I had the opportunity to get involved with research in the lab, I was excited to learn more about how life systems work.

Last year I did research on life history traits and specifically on how genetics affect egg size of threespine stickleback.  This year, I am continuing to research life history traits across Alaskan stickleback populations.  In the future, I plan on exploring how parasites in threespine stickleback can interfere with growth and life.

I hope to continue on to veterinary school when I graduate from Clark.  My dream as a child was to become a veterinarian, and I cannot wait to make that dream a reality. I want to help owners by helping their animals.  I strongly believe that pets and animals have a healing power on people.

Outside of the lab:

In my free time I love playing with my hedgehog, Penny.  I also volunteer at Tufts at Tech, a low-cost veterinary clinic in Worcester. I am part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoy spending time with my little “sister”!  I serve as the public outreach person in the Respecting Animal Welfare and Rights group at Clark.  I love spending time outdoors, going horseback riding, and hiking with my dogs.