Holly Lafferty

Headshot of Holly Lafferty


Major: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Journalism

Describe your research in just two sentences that we can all understand: My research project has a field and lab component. I am looking into the effects that starvation may have on a fish's nitrogen stable isotope ratio which is used for determining food chains. In essence, starvation could be causing the fish to appear to be consumers of themselves.

Q: Who mentors your research project?

A: My mentors are graduate student Rachel Bowes and Professor Jim Thorp.


Q: What surprised you about doing research?

A: I was surprised how quickly I got accustomed to dissecting the fish for their tissues since I am often squeamish.


Q: What do you like most about your research project or process?

A: I really enjoy doing the field work. I am collecting fish using nets from the Kansas River every three months for the project, and it is always an adventure to wade around in the water.


Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?

A: I would tell them to email several professors whose research you find interesting to see if they need any undergraduate help. With the professor's help, you can hopefully start planning an independent research project to go along with their research.


Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research project?

A: I'm involved in other organizations like KU Student Ambassadors and the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. I also enjoy traveling to new places like my recent research trips to Belize and Peru.