This year’s summer students at the MDI Biological Laboratory selected Dr. Robert Preston as the 2010 Outstanding Summer Mentor. Preston, Professor of Physiology, Comparative and Integrative Physiology at Illinois State University, has been a Visiting Scientist at the MDI Biological Laboratory for over 25 years. In that time he has mentored more than 90 summer students in his laboratory. His research focuses on studying the physiological mechanisms of stress tolerance in fish. Those stressors include changes in salinity, temperature, and oxygen levels, as well as exposure to environmental pollutants.
INBRE Undergraduate Jennifer Willis, SMCC ’10, praised Preston’s spirit, dedication, and good cheer. “He took the time to sit with each of us one on one to discuss our proposals, presentations, protocols, and questions,” she said. “He made sure that we not only knew how to use various equipment and kits, but exactly how they worked, explaining the reactions and steps. Dr. Preston really cares about us as individuals and took it upon himself to make sure that we learned as much as possible.”