who we are
Luke’s a native Carolinian ready to defend the primacy of SC barbecue. After a stint working in kitchens, Luke designed and built equipment for a lab at USC, alternating days between carefully-painted nails and using a makeshift brazing torch. Learning to speak machine led to more questions about non-silico research subjects, and now Luke studies how spiny lobsters use the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate. They’ve received Safe Zone and Entering Mentoring training.
Hailing originally from Ohio, Anna comes to UNC via a difficult Master’s experience in the far-off land of Wyoming. She’s interested in the evolutionary consequences of plant-insect interactions, especially related to warming temperatures. She hopes to use her experience struggling through the complex realms of mental health and sexuality to make sure the department is accommodating to all. Anna has received Safe Zone, Gender Identity and Expression, Haven, and Entering Mentoring training. She’s also certified in Mental Health First Aid.
For Elizabeth, growing up in the forests of rural Kentucky nurtured a deep love of nature and animals. That translated to a passion for biological research that lead her to snowy New England for undergrad, rainy England for a master’s, and steamy North Carolina for a PhD. Through her academic travels, she’s seen that the world isn’t as inclusive and accessible as her childhood on a lesbian farm lead her to believe. She strives to use her time in SSC to help forge an equitable future for academia. When not in the lab playing with bugs, she can be found at the barn, playing with horses. Elizabeth has received Haven training, Safe Zone training and is a Mental Health First Aider.
Julie is a PhD student in Charles Mitchell’s lab and she is broadly interested in host-microbe interactions in the plant microbiome. Specifically, she studies microbial community succession and its interaction with disease. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her dog, practicing yoga, and discovering new recipes.
Alison is a Jersey girl who received her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from a small engineering school in Massachusetts. Realizing she was terrible at chemistry and wasn’t quite ready to leave school, she started her PhD in Biology. After being told by a PI that she wouldn’t be given a grad student position in that lab because she was a girl – Alison is determined to foster a welcoming environment for everyone. Alison is certified as a Mental Health First Aider.