Fresh Insights into UW Biology: Part 2

Enjoy round 2 of getting to know our current 1st year graduate students. Thanks due again to Melissa Steele-Ogus.



Fabio Berzaghi studies conservation and wildlife ecology in lab of Sam Wasser, focusing on combining spatial and physiological ecology to study community dynamics where conservation and management actions are needed. He chose to come to the UW because he feels the University provides great foundations for learning and research. He has found graduate school to be intense, but filled with learning. he has been having great interactions, both within and outside the department, saying "The Department provides a lot of support and a great research community."
   




Leonard Jones joined Adam Leaché's lab as he is interested in the evolutionary biology of reptiles and amphibians, specifically in the evolution of viviparous/oviparous/ovoviviparous reproductive strategies in pit vipers. During his interviews, he found the enthusiasm of current students and the strong diversity among UW Bio faculty research interests appealing. His experiences at the UW have been challenging (but in a good way), and he feels the department fosters an atmosphere of equality, treating its grad students both as students and as colleagues.


     
Camila Crifo is in Caroline Stromberg's lab, studying paleobotany. What Camila finds most intriguing about plants is how they have had to adopt different and extraordinary solutions to overcome adverse climate conditions, predation, and competition, as well as reproduce and exploit resources. She came to UW for the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach of the Biology Department. Camila is happy to have survived her first quarter, and finds the department to be a very stimulating environment; people know how to be outstanding scientists, while remaining friendly and relaxed.




Dave Slager's general research interests include phylogenetics, phylogeography, and population genetics in birds. He was attracted to UW and John Klicka's lab by the friendly atmosphere and many resources available at the Burke Museum, as well as the strong, supportive, and interdisciplinary research environment within the Biology Department. He says that his first quarter was action-packed, with TAing, courses, research, and many social activities with other grads. He is "very happy so far" with his decision to come to UW Bio!





Spotlight on Katrina van Raay
Katrina is amazed at how you can watch microbes evolve "right before your eyes," and plans to study evolution in microbial systems with Ben Kerr. She is fascinated by everything that the world of microbes can demonstrate about evolution, from how organisms respond to changing environments and how cooperative behavior evolves, to the evolution of host-parasite relationships, or how microbes develop resistance to antibiotics.
     
Katrina came to the UW because of how impressed she was with both the faculty and the graduate students. During her interview, she had such interesting conversations with faculty members that she was genuinely disappointed each time an interview session ended. She found all of the research to be so exciting that she says, "I was tempted to change my research focus after every conversation."

Similarly, all of the graduate students seemed happy and enthusiastic about their work. The wide range of research areas also appealed to Katrina, as she likes the idea of being in a diverse department where students can learn about areas of biology outside of their immediate research focus.

Katrina is very happy to be at the UW. She says that her experiences so far have been "great!" and that, "Everyone in the department is amazing." She has been particularly impressed by the staff, who "can seemingly solve any problem" and the faculty who are "surprisingly approachable." She has also found her fellow grads to be smart, supportive, and fun. One particular point of interest for Katrina is the opportunities for collaboration, and the wide range of outreach opportunities, from elementary schools, to prisons, the Burke Museum, and blogging.

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