Hands on

University of Otago ecology and zoology student Ashley Walsh (21), of Christchurch, measures fly sizes at the department of zoology last week.

Due to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 some university classes have been moved online, but zoology classes have adapted to keep labs running.

A four-hour second-year lab has been split into two two-hour labs to allow students to continue their hands-on learning while socially distancing.

Wearing lab coats and gloves is compulsory, and masks are recommended.

Associate Prof Mark Lokman said in a lab earlier this month all students voluntarily wore masks.

"We’re pretty proud of that," Prof Lokman said.

Students designed and took ownership of their experiments.

"The fact that they come in on their own accord I think is a testament to that."

Students were using fruit fly larvae as a proxy to study the effects of environmental contaminants.

Ms Walsh was looking at the effects of estrogen and ibuprofen on the duration of the metamorphic stage. 

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