QuEST welcomes both incoming and returning trainees to campus! The traineeship is all about engaging in community building, peer-to-peer mentoring, and interest group networks. Activities like the UVM Ropes course begins the collaboration across disciplines. The graduate students attend a weekly seminar where they are learning how the use of improv can bridge communication across the sciences. They have also identified three research areas (i.e., climate change predictions, disease – epidemiology, socio-environmental) and are working together determining three guest speakers who will visit campus to conduct 90-minute workshops and lectures.     


Aura Alonso-Rodriguez

Cohort 2 
Advisor: Taylor Ricketts
Lab website: Taylor Ricketts Lab
Research Interests: Tropical forest ecology, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, agricultural landscapes, sustainable resource management
Hobbies: Exploring outdoors, salsa dancing, live music, reading science fiction, movies

Natalia Aristizábal

Natural Resources
Cohort 1
Advisor: Taylor Ricketts
Lab website: Taylor Ricketts Lab
Research Interests:  biodiversity conservation, landscape ecology, ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, agroecology, bees, GIS
Hobbies: Hiking, socializing in outdoor environments

 

Lauren Ashlock

Biology
Ambassador, Cohort 1
Advisor: Melissa Pespeni
Research Interests: Evolutionary ecology, marine biology, climate change, conservation
Hobbies: Dancing, hiking, hanging out with my husband and our green cheek conure, Zeke!

Emily Beasley

Biology  
Cohort 1
Advisor: Nicholas Gotelli
Research Interests: Quantitative ecology, hierarchical systems, and Bayesian statistics; especially as applied to small mammal and ectoparasite communities
Hobbies: Reading, bread making (sometimes at the same time)

Mariah Boudreau

Mathematical Sciences
Cohort 2
Advisor: Chris Danforth, Co-Advisor: Laurent Hebert-Dufresne
Research Interests: Network analysis, mathematical modeling for biological applications, modeling spread of disease
Hobbies:  Reading, hiking, puzzles, crossfit
 

Gavin Briske

Natural Resources
Cohort 3
Advisor: Carol Adair
Co-Advisors:  Aimee Classen, Tony D'Amato
Lab website: Adair Lab; Silviculture & Applied Forest Ecology Lab (Tony D'Amato)
Research Interests: Details forthcoming
Hobbies:

Erika Bueno

Plant and Soil Science
Cohort 1 
Advisor: Yolanda Chen
Research Interests: Evolutionary biology, genetic and physiological responses to environmental stress, entomology, pest management
Hobbies: Teaching, Zumba classes, embroidery, community gardening, building insect collections

Kerria Burns

Natural Resources
Cohort 2
Advisor: Kimberly Wallin
Research Interests: Plant/animal interactions, genomics and ecology of invasive species
Hobbies: Reading, running, outdoor activities

Benjamin Camber

Benjamin Camber
Cohort 2 
Advisor: Sara Cahan
Research Interests: Local adaptation, insect evolution, host-parasitoid arms races
Hobbies: Losing arguments, debates

Brendan Case

Computer Science
Cohort 1
Advisor: Laurent Hebert-Dufresne
Research Interests: Vector ecology, modeling, metapopulations
Hobbies: Running, dogs, artificial life

Herman Chege

Biology
Cohort 2 
Advisor: Melissa Pespeni
Research Interests: Artifical intelligence, machine learning, deep learning applications
Hobbies: Afro-beat music, meeting new people, learning new things 

Mahalia Clark

Mahalia Clark
Natural Resources
Mahalia.Clark@uvm.edu
Cohort 2 
Advisor: Gillian Galford
Research Interests: Agriculture, climate change, soil carbon, remote sensing
Hobbies: Hiking, swimming, Aikido, playing fiddle

Jessica Cole

Biology
Cohort 1 
Advisor: Alison Brody; Co-Advisor: Sara Helms Cahan
Research Interests: Plant-pollinator interactions, ecology
Hobbies: Reading, arts, gaming

Alison Hall

Cohort 2 
Advisor: Melissa Pespeni
Research Interests: Ecological genomics, global climate change, evolutionary adaptation 
Hobbies: Sudoku, kayaking, running, camping, community orchestra, cello

Bailey Kretzler

Plant and Soil Science
Cohort 3 
Advisor: Eric Bishop-von Wettberg
Lab website: The von Wettberg Lab
Research Interests: Details forthcoming
Hobbies:Cooking, baking, hula-hooping, hiking, writing, and mysteries

Raquel Lima

Biology  
Ambassador, Cohort 1
Advisor: Lori Stevens
Research Interests: Taxonomy and parasite evolution, public health
Hobbies: Sudoku, puzzles, handcrafts, toy making for son, baking pastries

Gabriel Meyer-Lee

Computer Science
Gabriel.Meyer-Lee@uvm.edu
Cohort 2 
Advisor: Nick Cheney
Research Interests: AutoML, deep learning, computer vision, robotics
Hobbies: Sewing, reading

Liza Morse

Liza Morse
Natural Resources
Cohort 3 
Advisor: Brendan Fisher
Lab website: Fisher ECOS Lab
Research Interests: Birding and wildlife, ecosystem services, working landscapes, conservation biology
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, gardening, thrift shopping

Sarah Morris

Sarah Morris
Plant Biology
Sarah.Morris@uvm.edu
Cohort 3 
Advisor: Michael Sundue
Lab website: Ferns and Lycophytes of the World
Research Interests:  Pteridophytes, macroevolution, biogeography, taxonomy, phylogenomics & climate change
Hobbies:  Outdoor adventures, travel, dogs, gardening, sewing & crochet

Paulina Murray

Paulina Murray
Natural Resources
Paulina.Murray@uvm.edu
Cohort 3 
Advisor: Carol Adair
Co-Advisors:  Aimee Classen, Tony D'Amato
Lab website: Adair Lab; Silviculture & Applied Forest Ecology Lab (Tony D'Amato)
Research Interests: Carbon cycling, forest ecology
Hobbies: Gardening, biking, hiking, and kayaking

George Ni

Biology
George.Ni@uvm.edu
Cohort 3 
Advisor: Nicholas Gotelli
Lab website: Nicholas J. Gotelli Lab
Research Interests: Computational Biology, community ecology, bird and arthropod biology
Hobbies:  Ultimate frisbee, raptor training, escape rooms, gaming (board and video)

Thomas O'Leary

Cohort 2 
Advisor: Brent Lockwood
Lab website: The Lockwood Lab
Research Interests: Evolutionary physiology, mechanisms of adaptation, response to environmental stress, climate change
Hobbies: Running, hiking, outdoors, reading

Csenge Petak

Cohort 2  
Advisor: Melissa Pespeni
Research Interests: Evolutionary biology, evolvability, gene regulatory networks, complex systems, computational modeling, modularity
Hobbies: Hiking, climbing, dancing

Zoe Portlas

Plant Biology
Cohort 1 
Advisor: Stephen Keller
Research Interests: Plant biology, population genetics, speciation, range expansion, invasive species, hybridization
Hobbies:  Knitting, puzzles, reading

Anoob Prakash

Plant Biology
Cohort 1 
Advisor: Stephen Keller
Research Interests: Population genetics, landscape genetics, climate change, forest fragmentation, local adaptation
Hobbies: Illustrating, reading, basketball, staring into space

Sam Rosenblatt

Computer Science
Cohort 1 
Advisor: Laurent Hebert-Dufresne
Research Interests: Networks, contagion, public health, hidden populations, noisy data, ecology
Hobbies: Podcasts, board and card games

 

Brittany Verrico

Plant Biology
Ambassador, Cohort 1 
Advisor: Stephen Keller
Research Interests: Population genetics, ecological genomics, evolutionary biology, forest tree responses, climate change
Hobbies: Photography, hiking, cooking, creative writing, Magic: The Gathering

Baxter Worthing

Plant Biology
Cohort 1
Advisor: Stephen Keller
Research Interests: Computational biology, ecological genomics, transcriptomics, climate change, forest trees
Hobbies: Skiing, hiking, juggling

 




UVM Adviser-Graduate Student Duo Awarded Prestigious HHMI Gilliam Fellowship

Plant and soil science PhD student Erika Bueno, together with her advisor, associate professor Yolanda Chen, have been awarded a 2020 Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The prestigious fellowship recognizes exceptional doctoral students who have the potential to be leaders in their fields and who are supported by a faculty mentor with a shared commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in science.

Read full article here
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Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Announcing the recently formed SACNAS Chapter at UVM which includes a provisional status from the national SACNAS organization located in Santa Cruz, California. 
 
The purpose of the SACNAS UVM chapter is to cultivate an inclusive and diverse community of graduate and undergraduate students from underserved backgrounds interested in pursuing careers in STEM. As a SACNAS chapter at UVM, our main goal is to create accessible career-building opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs through student-led events such as cross-disciplinary networking, community outreach, graduate school workshops, and academic support. By fostering a community-driven by cultural and intellectual values, the ultimate goal of our chapter is to promote unique perspectives across UVM and the wider SACNAS community. 
 
Currently, thirteen UVM graduate students and one post doc have joined the UVM’s local chapter. Looking to get involved, you can join the SACNAS UVM Chapter by filling out the webform. Questions about joining, contact your committee members directly for more information or via email uvmsacnas@gmail.com:

• Erika Bueno, President; Plant Soil and Science, 3rd year graduate student, QuEST Trainee
• Natalia Aristizábal, Vice President; RSENR, 3rd year graduate student, QuEST Trainee
• Aura Alonso-Rodriguez, Secretary; RSENR, 2nd year graduate student, QuEST Trainee
• Edward Marques, Treasurer; Animal Science, Post-doctoral Research Associate
• Luis Alexis Rodriguez-Cruz, Liaison; Food Systems, Ph.D. candidate