Participant Profiles

Ana Betancourt REU 2021

Ana Betancourt
University: University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras
Major: Biology

I am from Caguas, Puerto Rico! I enjoy cooking and baking desserts and breads. My field of interest is evolution, natural history, and botany, so I am really looking forward to working with my mentor in order to learn more about floristic evolution. I am interested in the conservation of our biodiversity and understanding the ethnobiology of organisms

Robin Hopkins (OEB)
Nicole S. López Vega REU 2021

Nicole S. López Vega
University: University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras
Major: Integrative Biology

I was born and raised in Manati, Puerto Rico. I am starting my senior year of college in August 2021 at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. I am majoring in Integrative Biology and want to continue my studies after I graduate and obtain a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Some of my main research interests are ecology, botany, invasive species biology, and environmental science. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my sister, going to the beach, and working out (not in any particular order). I look forward to broadening my knowledge in ecology and evolution while working on research in the area. As well, I look forward to better defining my research interests and academic goals as I approach graduate school. Moreover, I want to further my writing, analytical, and professional skills and meet fellow students, professors, and others who are  interested in similar research areas as myself.

Robin Hopkins (OEB)
Alison Mangano REU 2021

Alison Mangano
University: De Anza College
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

I was born and raised in San Jose CA. When I was 18, I moved to CO to play competitive ice hockey, then to NH for another season. After moving back from NH I started school to pursue my degree in Electrical Engineering. My main goal after obtaining my degree is to pursue research in sustainable energy technologies. I care deeply about the planet and want to use my knowledge to build a better future through the reduction of CO2 emissions. When I am not studying, you can find me camping, hiking, playing hockey, doing jigsaw puzzles, or playing with my dog. I am excited to begin researching this summer and to work with all the amazing students and faculty in the program.

Daniel J. Jacob and Loretta J. Mickley (SEAS)
Frances Marie S. Panday REU 2021

Frances Marie S. Panday
University: University of Maryland, College Park
Major: Environmental Science & Policy

I am a junior at the University of Maryland. I am an Environmental Science and Policy major with a minor in Remote Sensing. My hometown is Baltimore, MD! In my free time, I like to cook plant-based meals from plants I've grown in my garden! I am interested in researching the intersection between trees and the atmosphere. This summer, I look forward to working with a team of passionate scientists!

Daniel J. Jacob and Loretta J. Mickley (SEAS)
Desiree Pante REU 2021

Desiree Pante
University: Hunter College
Major: Bioinformatics

I am in my penultimate semester at Hunter College majoring in Bioinformatics with a minor in Asian American Studies. I am interested in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology. In my free time, I enjoy going on hikes and I loves drinking boba! I'm looking forward to working in the Edwards Lab as well as expanding my professional network in preparation for Graduate School.

Scott Edwards (OEB)
Marilena Papavassiliou REU 2021

Marilena Papavassiliou
University: University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Major: Biological Sciences

I am a rising senior studying biological sciences at the University at Buffalo. My research interests involve bioinformatics - I love the intersection between biology and computers! This summer, I am looking forward to participating in this program, as well as playing piano and rollerblading in my spare time.

Cassandra Extavour (OEB)
Makaleh Smith  REU 2021

Makaleh Smith  
University: The New School
Major: Liberal Arts Self-Designed - Environmental Studies / Interdisciplinary Science

I grew up in Southern California! I love the outdoors and anything to do with nature-camping, hiking, birding, snorkeling, etc. I am interested in a wide range of research topics including animal behavior, wildlife conservation strategies, plant and animal physiology and evolution, and much more. I am hoping this summer will help me narrow my research interests. I am very much looking forward to participating in research and all that this program has to offer this summer!

Ned Friedman (OEB)