Sarah Frei is a graduate student at Rice University working in the Department of Mathematics under the supervision of Anthony Várilly-Alvarado. Sarah is an algebraic geometer studying geometric objects that are defined by algebraic equations. The overarching goal of this field is to understand and describe all such objects — a huge task.
Marion Donald is a graduate student at Rice University pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary in the Department of Biosciences under the supervision of Tom Miller. Marion’s research focuses on understanding the drivers underlying biodiversity, specifically the local and regional forces thought to drive biodiversity in connected communities.
Lauren Warning is a graduate student at Rice University pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry in the Department of Chemistry under the supervision of Stephan Link. When artificial medical devices — like implants or nanoparticle drugs — come into contact with body fluids, they immediately interact with hundreds of biological molecules, like proteins. Lauren is working to characterize biomolecule behavior on these types of materials, measuring single protein unfolding at interfaces and studying conditions that affect unfolding.
Joe Whalen is pursuing a Ph.D. in physics at Rice University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy working with Tom Killian and Barry Dunning. Joe cools clouds of atoms to temperatures very close to absolute zero, where the wave-like nature of matter is dominant and quantum effects can be observed.
Asmita Banerjee is a graduate student at Rice University working in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences under the supervision of Laurence Yeung. Asmita’s research aims to understand how the Earth’s atmosphere at high altitude responds to temperature changes at the surface and how this temperature change affects the dynamics of the atmosphere between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
Alison Farrish is working on a Ph.D. at Rice University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy under the supervision of David Alexander. Alison studies the space environments of exoplanet systems, specifically trying to understand what effect stars have on their planets, whether stellar activity influences planetary habitability, and what magnetic and energetic properties of stars are most relevant to exoplanet environment and habitability.
Zach Wright is a graduate student at Rice University pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry and cell biology in the Department of Biosciences under the supervision of Bonnie Bartel. Zach’s research focuses on understanding the membrane structure of the peroxisome, an organelle found in animal and plant cells.