How it Feels to Publish a Scientific Paper… As An Undergrad!

“Aman Chavda is a published writer.” This isn’t something the average undergraduate student can state but along with his degree, Aman Chavda can now proudly add this accomplishment to his resume.

Recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in biological sciences, Aman’s academic journey in Canada began at ICM in 2012. “Coming here helped me develop myself,” he says. “ICM and the U of M helped me to mold myself. They gave me a form which I never imagined I would have got if I were in India. It makes you independent.”

Aman_Chavda_ICMFast-forwarding a few years, Aman and a group of his classmates found themselves with a unique opportunity. While taking Genes and Development, a fourth year biology course at the University of Manitoba, Aman shared: “There was this research assignment which we were doing – sequencing of mitochondrial DNA. They give you a certain set of genes and a certain unknown species and you have to figure out the species looking at the DNA structure.”

With access to exclusive research websites and the dataset of DNA sequences at the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne campus, the group came to discover that “the species was a moth species usually found in Manitoba and not anywhere else and had never been sequenced for its DNA. It is a very rare case when such a species is found and you get to know that it’s not sequenced. This one was luckily left for us,” said Aman.

When his professor Jeffrey Marcus – who was key in helping Aman decide to pursue biological sciences as a major – suggested to their group that they publish their paper, Aman remarked that it was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they jumped at the chance.

Taylor & Francis Group accepted the article proposal and with the help of their professor, the paper was published with the group as coauthors. “After we received the congratulations from the company saying that it is finally being published, I felt that my sleepless nights had paid off,” said Aman. He says his professor told them that something like this had never happened in his career, a feat that Aman is very proud of.

Aman says that his degree has opened so many more doors for him than he expected. Though his goal for pursuing further studies in medical school is clear, he is also coming across many more opportunities in research and pursuing a Ph.D. His advice for new students? Have a goal. “Focus on education first. Know what you are here for and take it forward from there.”

You can download and read “Living Prairie Mitogenomics Consortium (2017) The complete mitochondrial genome of the lesser aspen webworm moth Meroptera pravella (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 2:1, 344-346, DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1334525” online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23802359.2017.1334525

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