At a Glance

Year: ‘25
Major: Biological Sciences
Activities: Honors College, Research

Biology BS

As a biology major, you will gain the knowledge, skills and critical thinking needed for a successful career in modern biology and related fields.

Donning waders and equipped with a minnow trap, Annie Cary searched for threespine stickleback fish in lakes on Vancouver Island, located off the west coast of Canada.
“It was not glamorous,” she says. “But I really enjoyed the experience.”
When Cary came to UMass Lowell as an honors biological sciences major, she never imagined that she would be conducting research on fish. 
The Beverly, Massachusetts, resident received a $4,000 merit scholarship through the Immersive Scholars program to work on research, either on or off campus. In searching for a position, Cary came across Biological Sciences Asst. Prof. Natalie Steinel’s lab, which focuses on immunology research.
“Immunology is a really cool field,” says Cary, who was introduced to techniques used in the biotechnology industry while attending Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School.
Cary joined Steinel’s lab during her sophomore year, where she helped research the effects that parasites have on the immune system of stickleback fish.
“I gained more biotech skills and became better at the ones I already had,” she says.
The following summer, Steinel invited Cary to Vancouver Island for a 10-day field research trip that consisted of looking for threespine stickleback fish that were ready to breed, as well as those that were infected by parasites.
“It was awesome going out to Vancouver Island to do fieldwork,” Cary says. “I got to see how lab and fieldwork connect.”
Cary got funding for the trip through the Kennedy College of SciencesScience Scholars program.
“It’s great that you can get funding for opportunities like this,” she says.
Cary plans to continue to work in Steinel’s lab throughout the rest of her time at UMass Lowell, as the opportunity has helped guide her toward a promising career.
“Immunology is amazing,” she says. “After working in this lab, I feel like it’s a field I could see myself going into.” 

Importance of research?

Annie Cary.
“I got to see how lab and fieldwork connect.”