Claire Gilbert ’26



Project Title

Naturalizing the Environmental Experience of “Model Mammals” for Immunology and Beyond

I investigated immunological and social behavioral differences between lab mice that were “rewilded” — returned to nature in an outdoor enclosure at the Stony Ford Research Station — and those that remained in the lab. The Graham Group studies how the outdoor environment could affect the mice’s ability to fight off parasites and how mice’s social behavior could contribute to their immune profiles. I performed husbandry checks on the rewilded mice to ensure they had adequate food, water and shelter and to ensure their physical safety from predators. I analyzed data collected from radio-frequency identification tags, which had been implanted into each mouse to determine the number of mice that were active each day and to check whether any mice had escaped. I collected camera footage from select locations in the mice enclosure to track specific behaviors such as eating, fighting and climbing, which contributes to our understanding of how the mice interact with each other and their environment. Overall, the project gave me the opportunity to acquire fieldwork and laboratory skills, and experience in a new coding language. I deeply enjoyed the time in nature and working with a supportive network of researchers.

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


The Graham Group, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Andrea Graham, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Yoon Chang, Ph.D. candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; David Chang van Oordt, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Alec Downie, Ph.D. candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology