Lab Fun


November 10, 2017
Jon’s off to Janelia Lunch

EEB PhD student Jon Massey received an HHMI fellowship to work with David Stern at Janelia Research Campus. We sent him off with a Wittkopp Lab staple, the lunch buffet at Taste of India.

August 9, 2017

Annual Kayaking Trip!

Annual kayaking trip with a slightly smaller group than usual! But Trisha and Fabien were with us in spirit – in “Flat Stanley” form! A hot summer day in Ann Arbor wouldn’t be complete without a stop into Blank Slate Creamery. This was the day the Wittkopp Lab Coat of Arms was born.

May 27, 2017
Fabien’s Last BBQ

Fabien finished his postdoctoral work in the Wittkopp Lab, but we couldn’t let him leave without one final get together. We sent him off with a good old fashioned BBQ, complete with hamburgers, Jen’s goats, questionable marshmallow roasting technique, and lots of laughs.

November 20th, 2016

3rd Annual Lab Thanksgiving!

Trisha kindly made a giant turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing to eat with the rest of the potluck (Alisha’s famous sweet potato casserole, Justin’s made from scratch green bean casserole, Abby’s amazing British bake-off Pesto Bread and salad, Fabien’s french fruit cake, Jen’s pumpkin pie, Elizabeth’s spinach and artichoke dip, Petra’s grape salad, Andrea’s incredible brussel sprouts, Jon’s biscuits and fresh honey (yay beekeeper Jon!), Katie’s acorn squash…) Scientists = wonderful cooks!

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October 31, 2016

Halloween festivities were in full effect with both the MCDB and EEB graduate students!


August 2016

2nd Annual Wittkopp Lab Olympics!

8 Events again – 4 individual and 4 Team (Fly vs. Yeast)!


Event 1 was a Tip‐fill individual competition – first one to fill 3  pipette tip boxes to completion (with tape, in the autoclave bin) won medals!


WINNERS: GOLD: Jen Lachowiec, SILVER: Bing Yang, BRONZE: Fabien Duveau

Event 2 was a team Ice Bucket/Chair Relay. This event involved each member of the team to first don all appropriate PPE (Goggles and lab coat), grab an ice bucket, then race via lab chair down the hallway, fill the ice bucket, then proceed in relay fashion with the ice bucket in hand on the chairs. The addition of the ice bucket and goggles this year proved to add a level of difficulty! 


WINNERS: Team Yeast: Trisha, Joe W., Jade, Petra, Andrea, Fabien and Bing

Event 3 was called “Flip those flies” where each lab member had to flip a box of 10 flies into new food at the start of the whistle, first 3 won medals! Turns out Trisha’s still got some mad fly flipping skills!


WINNERS: GOLD: Trisha, SILVER: Alisha, BRONZE: Tie between Jon and Daayun

Event 4 was a 96 well Relay between the teams, where each team member was required to fill a 96 deep-well plate with 2mL of water, then run through the building, across the courtyard to the Chemistry flags. The last person had the option to refill wells that had been spilled, but both time and accuracy were scored at the end via deductions for percentage of water lost. It was a super close race! Coming in within 20 seconds of each other after a 15 minute run. 

96 well relay

WINNERS: Team Fly! Alisha, Abby, Ali, Patty, Jen, Jon, Hannah, Rebecca and Daayun

Event 5 was Lab Mate Trivia, which involved a matching game for everyone in lab with an interesting piece of trivia. The answers were amazing… Abby won with 5/ 17 correct, clearly it was hard! Trisha and Jen had to do a tiebreaker, which involved a pipette shoot-off!



Event 6 was called “Guess the Amount,” which was an individual event where everyone had to estimate the number of microcentrifuge tubes and amount of liquid (in mLs) in an unmarked bottle. Closest overall scorers were given medals! 



*Trisha did freakishly well at this…

Event 7 was the Science Trivia Game — a team collaboration, where everyone had 20 minutes to answer pictures of trivia about building scientists, lab alum, UM buildings, famous science Books/Movies, etc. 

trivia pages
Lab Trivia

WINNERS: Team Fly! Alisha, Abby, Ali, Patty, Jen, Jon, Hannah, Rebecca and Daayun

Event 8 was the Three-legged Biohazard Bag Race Relay where groups of 2 raced down the courtyard and back. Morgan joined in on the fun in this event with Mom!


WINNERS: Team Fly! Alisha, Abby, Ali, Patty, Jen, Jon, Hannah, Rebecca and Daayun

For your viewing pleasure (the end of the race, where our bags were shot!): 2016-08-29 14.53.19

Trisha and Jen were tied for first going into the last event, but the biobag race added 2 more points to Team Fly resulting in the overall winners:



June 2016

Annual Lab Kayaking Trip @ Argo Cascades


April 2016

SkyZone Fun for Fabien and Elizabeth’s birthdays


December 2015

2nd Annual Lab White Elephant Exchange!

 We didn’t get a group picture this year, but there were tons of awesome gifts: Dinosaur Egg, Unicorn Mask, Yard of Twix, Lobster potholder and Muffin Mix, Star Wars Figurine and Mug, Mobile charger, Games, Measuring cups, and of course an Ashley’s gift card!

Ornament Exchange

November 2015

2nd Annual Lab Thanksgiving! We always forget to get a picture of the insanely delicious spread. #theresalwaysnextyear

Lab Thanksgiving

The lab kidnapped Brian from packing to have one last lunch at Zingerman’s! He was thrilled! 

October 2015

Apple picking and a corn maze (with trivia)!

corn maze



September 2015

The Wittkopp lab started a new tradition of Lab Olympics this fall! There were 8 events: 4 individual, 4 group (Team Yeast vs. Team Fly)

site pic

Event 1: Tip‐fill (Individual)

This was a tip‐fill race!! The objective for each person was to fill two pipette tip boxes (size of your own choice), autoclave tape them, and put them in the bin. All lab members gloved up and at the sound of the whistle, they filled each box to completion. First 3 to finish won medals! It was a close race!


WINNERS: GOLD: Bing Yang, SILVER: Jen Lachowiec, BRONZE: Brian Metzger

Event 2: Petri Dish Relay (Team)

One person from each team started at the sound of the whistle, filled 1 petri dish with 3mL of water using a P1000 pipette, sealed them with parafilm, then ran them across the courtyard to the northern entrance of the Chemistry building and back. The second person then unwrapped the first petri dish, re-parafilmed 2 dishes, and so on. Once all 5 team members finished from a team, they won! There was a crack in one of the dishes, but they managed to to do it without any major leaking! 


WINNERS: TEAM YEAST! Bing Yang, Andrea Hodgins-Davis, Stephen Tryban, Fabien Duveau, and Brian Metzger

Event 3: Flip those flies (Individual)

Each lab member had to flip a box of 10 flies into new food. At the whistle, each member started on their box. First 3 to finish won medals, let’s just say this was a bit of a challenge for the yeast folks…

flipping flies

WINNERS: GOLD: Alisha John, SILVER: Stephen Tryban, BRONZE: Abby Lamb

Event 4: Chair Race Relay (Team)

This event involved each member of the team to race using a bench chair from Rm. 1061 to the hallway (marked by Yellow Tape). Each person had to pass the yellow line on their way back, then tag out with the next team member in line. Once all 5 team members passed the yellow line, that team won!

Chair Race

WINNERS: TEAM FLY! Trisha Wittkopp, Jen Lachowiec, Jon Massey, Alisha John and Abby Lamb

Event 5: Lab Word Scramble (Individual) Outside!

Each lab member was given a handout with 9 commonly used words in our lab. Once they were completed, Elizabeth checked the words. First 3 done won prizes! **This was tough!! 


WINNERS: GOLD: Abby Lamb, SILVER: Stephen Tryban, BRONZE: Bing Yang

Event 6: Shooting Range (Individual) Outside!

Each lab member got 10 pipette tips to shoot from a P1000. The object was to shoot the most tips into the greatest value target contains. Tips were shot from a fixed distance into a pyramid of stationary targets – the first row worth 1 point, 2nd row worth 2 points, and so on. Medals were decided by calculating the total score for each person… High score of 9 points, so by Stephen and Alisha resulted in a shoot-off for first place! 


WINNERS: GOLD: Stephen Tryban, SILVER: Alisha John, BRONZE: Brian Metzger

**Note, these were re-used tips, we weren’t wasteful of any consumables!

Event 7: Science Matching Game! (Team) Outside!

Each team was given a trivia handout, and they had 20 minutes to complete as many as possible. Both teams did really well, but the yeast group won by a couple points!


WINNERS: TEAM YEAST! Bing Yang, Andrea Hodgins-Davis, Stephen Tryban, Fabien Duveau, and Brian Metzger

Event 8: Three-legged Biohazard Bag Race Relay (Team) Outside!

Groups of 2 raced down the courtyard (marked by Yellow Tape) with one of their legs inside the biohazard bag at all times. 

bag race

WINNERS: TEAM FLY! Trisha Wittkopp, Jen Lachowiec, Jon Massey, Alisha John and Abby Lamb

Then all the scores were added up for the overall Lab Olympians!!…


WINNERS: GOLD: Stephen Tryban, SILVER: Alisha John, BRONZE: Abby Lamb (tied with Bing, but he had to go to class!)

Prizes included MCDB t-shirts, candy, sriracha, and more… DEFINITELY need to do this again next year!

Kayaking June 2015

We had a shorter trip this year due to some looming thunderstorms, but we still made it through the cascades and had a fun farewell party for Jose and Joe afterward at Trisha’s house!

Bowling, September 2014 (Since Kayaking just didn’t work out this summer…)

Left to Right: Andrea Hodgins-Davis, Joseph Coolon, Alisha John, Abby Lamb, Brian Metzger, Jon Massey, Morgan, Kraig Stevenson, Trisha and Jacob, Fabien Duveau

Journal Club, August 2014

A little windy, but a great time to discuss a paper on the patio.

Whirlyball April 2014, Ann Arbor

A surprise celebratory cake for Trisha winning the LSA Work Life Champion Award that Kraig and Joe nominated her for! (July 2013)

7-24-13 Trisha and staff at P Wittkopp party.jpg

Stevenson Baby Shower, July 2013

Kayaking Trip, Argo Cascades June 2013

Yuan Baby Shower April 2013

Coolon Baby Shower, October 2012

Brad Lankowsky, winner of our first NCAA Championship Competition 

(March 2012)


Lisa Graduates! (July 2012) Awesome cake done by Trisha. 


Lake Erie Fishing Charter (Summer 2011)

Strawberry Picking (June 2011)


Group Picture June 2011


Canoeing, Summer 2011

Fly cake (August 2007)


Summer BBQ (June 2007)

1st Annual Wittkopp Lab Canoe Trip (July 2006)

PlayDough Fly Making Contest (February 2006)


Lab Warming Party (February 2006)

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