Community Spotlights

We are an interdisciplinary hub of scholars studying plants, microbes, neuroscience, cellular development, evolution, ecology, & biodiversity at Washington University in St. Louis. 

We are Biology. 

Monthly Highlight

Philippa Tanford

“To me, being a scientist is an opportunity and responsibility, and the fact that I can pursue a career creating knowledge is amazing. But the discoveries that we make as scientists need to make it to the folks who can implement them, and science as a whole needs to be supported by the general public for any of those discoveries to matter. That means we have to conduct our work ethically, support science literacy and communication, and support politicians who see the value of science. I think sometimes scientists forget this happens at a very human level – it’s not just an abstract concept. It means genuine and nonjudgmental engagement with people, not just telling people facts with a tone of superiority.” Philippa Tanford, graduate student in Rachel Penczykowski's lab

Interviewed by Rachel Becknell

“Being a scientist is about finding out all of these little secrets that are in the natural world that you cannot see with your eyes. For example, one insect I worked on is a major crop pest that destroys fields of squash and watermelon. But it can’t survive without this tiny microbe inside of it. By just looking at it, you would never guess that was the case. To me, it is just fun to be privy to all of these little secrets and to discover new ones and to figure out how our world really works.”

―Justine GarciaPostdoctoral Research Associate

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