Managing two research labs can get tricky, especially when you throw in bats and zebrafish. Tamasen Hayward coordinates the lab work for neuroscientist Allison Coffin and biologist Christine Portfors at WSU Vancouver, where they study hearing loss and auditory systems.

Hayward (’15, ’17 MS Biol.) notes that bats need their hearing to survive and, unusually, can regenerate or compensate for hearing loss as they age. The Portfors Lab has about 30 short-tailed fruit bats, including four albinos, and the 40-year-old colony has been vital to research.

Several research projects in Coffin’s lab, including testing prescription drugs to see if they cause hearing loss, keep Hayward busy. Zebrafish are used in the lab due to an excellent organ system on the outside of their bodies that’s very similar to inner ear human cells.

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Washington State Magazine