Presenting the 2018 BioGrad cohort

Introducing our first-year grad students! Read on to learn our 2018 cohort.


Alex is joining the Strömberg lab and is interested in bettering our ability to extract ecological information from fossil plant remains and the sediments which encase them. He is coming from Greenwood’s Paleobotany lab in Manitoba, Canada, where he completed a masters involving ancient plant community ecology. He has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, having worked in the SPATIAL geochemistry lab and in Paleontology Collections at the Natural History Museum of Utah. He is really excited about the new Burke Museum, and not living in the flat prairies anymore and playing in the mountains.




Alicia is interested in neurobiology and behavior. She is originally from San Diego, CA and completed her bachelors and masters degrees in physiology at San Francisco State University. During her time at SFSU she worked in Dr. Megumi Fuse’s lab studying nociception in insects. She was drawn to UW because of the community within the department and the neuroscience research being done. Even though she’ll miss the California weather and beaches, she’s really excited to explore Seattle.



David is interested in diverse ecological and evolutionary aspects of mammals. He is joining the Santana’s lab family, but beyond that, he is excited about being part of an interdisciplinary, supportive and brilliant community of people at UW. David is eager to learn and apply his new knowledge to answer questions and to develop new ideas.



Check out David's website!








Karly is joining the Summers' lab and is interested in studying the functional morphology and biomechanics of fishes. She is coming from the George Washington University in D.C. where she completed her B.S/M.S. in biology and worked in Dr. Patricia Hernandez's lab focusing on the trophic novelties of Cypriniforme fishes. During her time at GWU Karly investigated the trophic apparatus of invasive Silver carp, studying the development, morphology and mechanics of how they feed. She is excited to be out on the west coast and be up at Friday Harbor Labs.


Katie is joining Dr. Boersma’s lab to continue weighing Magellanic penguins with automatic scales at Punta Tombo, Argentina. She is broadly interested in how natural history and ecology inform conservation. In 2014, she graduated from Pacific Lutheran University where she assisted projects working on larval dispersal of Olympia oysters in Fidalgo Bay, WA and disease ecology of purple sea urchins on the Olympic Peninsula. Katie was drawn to UW Biology because of its emphasis on interdisciplinary science and creating a diverse environment. She is looking forward to playing with new tools in the lab and getting outside in the PNW.




Kayla is joining the Dr. Adam Summers' Fish Biomechanics lab. She was previous in Dr. Karen Crow's Fish lab at San Fransisco State University where she studied morphological evolution of cephalic lobes of myliobatid stingrays. She is captivated by skeletal structures and the complex derivations that have arisen among the planforms of various animals throughout evolution. Specifically, she wants to decipher how batoids (skates and stingrays), some of the earliest vertebrates with skeletons composed entirely of cartilage, vary in skeletal morphology and the biomechanical implications to swimming dynamics that result from these variations.









Melissa is interested in a wide range of fields such as: cancer biology, developmental biology, and immunology. Her interests in understanding cell dynamics, determining the molecular mechanisms of mitosis as well as asymmetric cell division are any she decided to rotate with Dr. Theriot, Dr. Wordeman, and Dr. Cabernard. She earned her Bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University and her Master's degree at California State University Long Beach. After 6 years of working in both academia and industry, she decided to pursue a PhD at UW in order to continue her scientific learning. Melissa is excited to forage for mushrooms while hiking in the PNW!
Check out Melissa's linked-in profile!









Sujay is interested in the field of neuroethology. He is interested in joining Dr. Jeff Riffel's lab. A strong core of multiple faculty and labs in neuroscience and behavior attracted him to UW along with the department of biology’s commitment to interdisciplinary research. Sujay is deeply excited about meeting faculty and students at UW.











Will is eager to begin his graduate study at UW with the Wasser lab. He is a San Francisco native, and he earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 2016. With a research background in ecology, genetics, and microbiology, he hopes to explore applications for microbiome analysis in new and ongoing conservation projects. He was drawn to UW Biology by its commitment to fostering a diversity of perspectives and expertise in the scientific community. Will enjoys finding new ways to trick himself into exercising, and he is looking forward to his first year in Seattle. He anticipates he’ll be just a little damp all the time.











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