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What’s it like to research sawfish in college?

By Jens Hegg, 19th January 2024

The word ‘researcher’ often conjures images of people who have spent years after earning a college degree to earn a PhD. But in our lab at Gonzaga University undergraduate researchers are the core of the lab.

The work we’ve done for this project would not have been possible without the dedicated work of five undergraduate researchers. They have developed the protocols we use to measure sawfish rostra and to prepare rostral tooth thin sections with a precision diamond saw. They’ve put in long hours of sample polishing and late nights on the micro-CT scanner. And, they have presented the preliminary results we’ve gathered at the Gonzaga Fall Research Showcase and at the Murdock Undergraduate Research Conference.

What is it like to be doing hands-on sawfish research in college? Lin Troung, one of the students in the lab, sat down to tell us what this research opportunity has meant for her.


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