Touching Bird Butts for Science: An Interview with Mia Fox ’19


courtesy of all-free-downloads

In this interview, I speak with Mia Fox ’19, English and Biology double major who did research in an animal bio lab this past year. 

So, Mia, can you tell me a little bit about your research? 

This was research I did the fall of my junior year for a lab ST: Physiological Animal Ecology. I’m the TA for it next year, so hopefully I’ll be able to touch more butts. Basically we had an independent project and I was part of a group that wanted to look at the gut microbiome and growth rate. So to do that, we touched bird butts. We took pipets and shoved them up a bird butt, and then swabbed the area and took that liquid that we got in the swab and plated it on a growth medium and we saw what grew. And what grew was pretty nasty but awesome. And we wanted to see if the diversity of the bacteria was linked in any way to growth rate.

What was your favorite bird butt to touch? 

I can tell you my least favorite bird butt to touch. That’s a blue jay. Bluejays suck. They’re rude, first of all. All they want to do is bite you. Finches are very sweet. very calm. They will let you touch their butt for a long time.

What’s your dream butt to touch? 

Human or non-human?

Let’s do non-human first. 

Umm, something really soft… Penguin! Human: Elise Tran

Thanks for all the butt talk, Mia! Here’s hoping our readers found some good tips on how to prepare their turkeys for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!


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