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

Kristin Winchell

"I’m from Grass Valley, a very small town in northern California near South Lake Tahoe. It is around 200 feet elevation, at the foothills of The Sierra Nevadas just outside the Tahoe National Forest. It was beautiful growing up there. I was outside all the time. I was kind of a feral child. Always barefoot. Always getting dirty running around, finding plants or collecting tadpoles to metamorphose. My mom was instrumental in helping to foster my interests and push me to explore different areas of science. From an early age, I was drawn more towards the nature and ecology side of things, but I didn’t recognize that as a subject to study until I was in college. Now, I’m really interested in how animals are responding to what humans do to the environment, which can mean a lot of things. It can mean conservation or sustainable development, but as my research has progressed, I’ve realized that I am mainly interested in the evolutionary aspect of how humans are influencing, inadvertently and unknowingly, the course of evolution in urban environments. How and why is it happening? What are the consequences for animals? environments? The field of urban evolution is so young, and I’m in on the ground level of it; I want to do it all and do it all now." Kristin Winchell, postdoctoral research associate in the Losos lab

Interviewed by Vincent Fasanello

“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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