Undergraduate Biology student, Michael Kline, doing research in the Irish Lab.

Irish Lab Research

Meet an Undergrad in the Lab: Michael Kline

Research Description:

Dr. Irish’s research group is a small cohort. Currently, it consists of two undergraduate students and a graduate student. Her lab group has been able to collaborate with a chemistry professor looking into the effects of hydrogen sulfide on maize development. She prefers undergraduates with some knowledge of laboratory skills and a biology background.

When did Michael start in the lab?

"I started in the fall of 2016."


Biology with a concentration in genetics and biotechnology.

Background before Michael started working in the lab:

"During my freshman year, I worked in Dr. Neiman's lab. There, I mostly assisted with different graduate students' projects."

Why Michael chose this lab?

"I chose this lab because I was interested in doing research related to plants. After consulting Dr. Neiman and looking into the research of both plant biology laboratories, I decided Dr. Irish’s work matched my interest.

The three projects I've worked on are involved in Dr. Irish’s main research question that focuses on the transformation from a juvenile plant that does not have reproductive organs to an adult plant that can reproduce and has those organs.

My first project was adding jasmonic and salicyclic acid to plants to see if they work together to signal the transformation phase from juvenile to adult. The second project was looking at the use of hydrogen sulfide as a signaling molecule to see if it played a role in initiating the phase change.

Currently, I am working on the development of a protocol to stain reactive oxygen species in leaf tissue."

Opportunities this lab has allowed Michael:

"In the summer of 2017, I did an internship with the production research team at Monsanto."

What Michael wants to do in the future:

"I am planning on graduating in the winter of 2018 and hope to go graduate school for biology."

What Michael wishes he knew before starting in a lab:

"I wish I knew the importance of communication. It is especially important to communicate between the undergraduates and the graduate students if you don’t know how to properly do an experiment."