Lachlan Tegart

Master of Science (BioSciences) student, Lachlan Tegart, discusses his studies and talks about the complementary nature of a degree that incorporates both research and coursework.

In undergrad I was fascinated by the intricacy and beauty of the nature particularly in its biology. After taking a few subjects through the botany department as science electives I was inspired to look deeper into the wide world of plants, in particular the way they influence human health. I am studying botany to better understand the nature and composition of airborne pollen and how it affects Melbournians affected by hay fever.

After my great experience in undergrad I couldn't help but come back and undertake postgraduate study. I was also fortunate enough to find a supervisor who was excited to take me on as a masters student and has tailored a project that suits me perfectly. I also really connect with the campus in general; Melbourne is such a fantastic hub of both environment and culture.

The beauty of the Master of Science (BioSciences) is that you are able to choose a project that interests you, which can incorporate aspects from botany, zoology and genetics. It also fosters a collegial academic environment in which you can share your research with others interested in your field. The coursework subjects are also catered to equip you for further research or employment. Masters is not just about learning facts and skills (like undergrad) it prepares you for the future or further work

While I have thoroughly enjoyed the research component thus far, I have more so enjoyed my coursework subjects, which have inspired me to communicate science to a broad audience; which I have had the opportunity to do through social media and through demonstrating in first year biology classes.

I was also able to undertake an 8-week internship at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne where I studied fungal systematics under Dr Teresa Lebel. Through this project I was able to use genetics to work out species boundaries in a genus of mushroom, and in the process discovered (and named) a few new species. Through this project I gained valuable laboratory and presentation skills. It also helped me to be very sure that I want to pursue a career in academia and science.

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