Hello! My name is Ciara Himes and I’m a rising junior majoring in molecular and cellular biology, with minors in astrobiology and biochemistry. I have been working in the Baltrus lab for about a year now, researching horizontal gene transfer in megaplasmids. Not much is known about the horizontal transfer of certain genes in the family of megaplasmids that I’m studying, so my research aims to uncover the importance of one of these genes and how deleting it from the megaplasmid might affect the host’s phenotype. Working in the Baltrus lab and being in the Undergraduate Biology Research Program has taught me valuable skills in conducting research and in communication. When I’m not in the lab, I like to have fun with my friends and explore Tucson. On my own, I like to read (usually Sci-Fi), make my own jewelry, or hang out at the Scented Leaf on East University.