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Peroxisomes, small organelles in the cell, isolate oxidative metabolic pathways, thereby protecting the rest of the cell from oxidative damage. Bonnie Bartel’s research focuses on the biogenesis, function, and turnover of this vital organelle using the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana. She developed a course, Freshman Seminar in Local Biology, aimed at introducing freshmen to the excitement of biological research. Small groups of freshmen spend several weeks exploring an article from a local research group in preparation for visiting the lab, meeting the authors, and learning about how to get involved in research as undergraduates.