Tuesday, January 30, 2018

URSP Student Roxana Ventura Gains an Understanding in How Chickens Develop Food Preferences

I’ve always had a fascination with animals, from watching documentaries on animal planet, to searching for ways to work with animals in real life. This brought me to discovering Dr. Davis and working in her ABAC Lab. When working as a research assistant in the summer of 2016, I was helping the undergraduates and graduates with their observations and it was interesting to hear some of the reason why they chose to do their work. While working with my colleagues and with the help of Dr. Davis they brought me to the conclusion that I would want to conduct my own research. The idea of getting a better understanding of how chickens develop their food preferences intrigued me. This, along with the memory of a recent class I took known as ‘Food Choices and Consequences’, which discussed the difficulty in changing food preferences in adult humans, caused me to question whether or not these rules apply to animals.

One of the biggest obstacles I have faced is getting approval from IACUC. Throughout the entire fall semester Logan Woodhouse, Dr. Davis, and I have worked on the form for IACUC and even though we have been declined once this would not stop us from reapplying. We have taken a lot of their comments and revised our form to meet their standards and hope to see that this second submission we will be approved.

I always thought that researching would be such an interesting field to work in and that being in the Oscars program would be a wonderful opportunity to experience what it would be to run your own observations.  Even though this research might not leave a huge impact in the world of psychology I do believe that this could cascade into something bigger, like building on this research or even open new doors with other psychologist that are interested in how animal’s behaviors work. My research can be a gateway into meeting other professors and other researchers that are in my field and develop connections with these people. I know that there will be obstacles that I will face throughout this whole experience, but these obstacles will only make me stronger and help improve on what I should and shouldn’t be dedicating my time to.