Travels with my grant – Julia Gauberg

01 November 2017 - By: Julia Gauberg

Travels with my grant – Julia Gauberg

Julia Gauberg
Julia Gauberg at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (Brisbane)

Julie travelled to Australia for 3 months to carry out research in collaboration with Prof. Craig Franklin on the “Effects of chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on tight junction proteins in amphibian skin”.

I met Prof. Craig Franklin at the 2016 SEB Brighton meeting and we decided to collaborate: we wanted to combine my work on skin tight junctions in the Kelly Lab and his research on the Chytrid fungus (The University of Queensland, Australia). I possessed the necessary expertise to drive the technical aspects of the project, while Prof. Franklin had a cultured model colony available exclusively in his laboratory in Australia.

The research trip has taught me a lot. Working in a different lab and a new country for an extended period of time was an experience in itself. I have been doing research in the Kelly lab for my BSc thesis and my current MSc work, so I have never experienced working full-time in another setting. I learned to use new techniques, equipment and facilities at The University of Queensland, and I met some amazing researchers along the way!

I learned to creatively troubleshoot my experiments – because I was in a new setting, whenever I faced roadblocks, I had to use all the resources I could find to make things work. For example, I had shipped a pair of diffusion cells from Canada to use for my experiments in Australia, but they were too large to use with the small frogs that we were working with! Luckily, these diffusion cells are made out of glass and there was a glassblowing workshop on campus. This workshop made two new glass diffusion cells for me and the experiments worked perfectly from then on!

During my time there, Prof. Craig Franklin hosted a Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture event at The University of Queensland. Dr. Brad Norman presented his amazing work on whale sharks at this event, and it was fascinating to learn about how little we knew about these gentle giants. However, the highlight of this event was that I was able to meet Steve Irwin’s daughter, Bindy Irwin, in person! I never imagined that I would meet a celebrity during my collaboration, but I had!

The collaboration work was a great experience for me and to top it all off one month after returning from Australia I presented the work that I conducted at the 2017 SEB Annual Meeting in Gothenburg! It was wonderful to see the collaboration come together between SEB meetings.

Category: grants