Name: Grant Dawson
Age: 19 years old
Website / Twitter Handle / Instagram: @grant_tedwell (Instagram and Twitter)
Where do you work? Neuman-Lee Laboratory x Arkansas State University
Position: Undergraduate Research Tech
How did you get there? For a pre-medical biology student, a herpetology-based ecophysiology lab isn’t the most intuitive choice. Interested in immunology and pathobiology, I was originally drawn to the research on immune response but have found myself falling in love with trapping turtles, catching frogs, and even working in a natural history collection. As an Eagle Scout, I’m no stranger to the outdoors, so I love the variety at the bench and in the field.
Was there any particular hardship that you had to overcome to work in your position? Upon entering the lab, I lacked any real experience with herps or research – formal or otherwise. However, this was of no concern for Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee or the rest of the lab, and I have found nothing but inspiration and wonderful mentorship in an effort to make myself a better scientist and student. While this has meant plenty of work and personal research and asking questions, I have found that surrounding myself with the wonderful individuals from this lab has been especially key. As I’m only a sophomore, this journey has only just begun, and I am thankful that it started where it did.
What advice do you give to someone interested in your profession? What advice might you have for someone from an underrepresented group who is interested in entering your field? Good work ethic shines brighter that anything. You don’t have to be the smartest, the strongest, or the most talented, but nothing is stopping you from outworking everyone in the room.
What’s your favorite herp?
Why are you an HL member? I love the publicity and inclusivity that the Herp League brings to the field. It is a truly amazing resource for networking with such a robust and diverse group of scientists.