2010 CoBiD-UREKA Students


University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Lab - Palaeobotany

"I have a strong interest in geology and botany so this internship seems like the perfect crossover. Also, I have only been to Europe once (England and Scotland) so I’m looking forward to traveling there".

How will your project benefit your career? - I am considering studying paleobotany and/or working in research related to the consequences of atmospheric climate change and botanical responses. I know how small the paleobotany research community is so I am very excited to take part in this!

What are your hobbies? - Running in Santa Barbara, vegan cooking, backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains, co-hosting an all-female artist radio show, and working in a greenhouse for my lab.

Next September I'll be - Finishing up traveling in Europe and then starting my last year in Santa Barbara, completing my degree in biology.

What do you want to do on the weekends? - Explore! I have never been so I’m sure there is a lot to experience. I hope to go on many hikes and discover the cities towns. If anyone who knows the area wants to show me around, that would be great!

What are you most excited about this summer? - Working in the Péac facility, meeting the other UREKA students, researching in Ireland, and the 18+ drinking age.

Birthday - February 8th


University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Lab - Palaeobotany

"Over the past two semesters at UIUC, I have been working in a palaeobotany lab with a focus in palynology. I have since become interested in plant responses to mass extinction events, and how fossil pollen and spores can be used to reconstruct the Earth's past. Working on a project with the people from the UCD Plant Palaeoecology and Palaeobiology Group seems like an ideal way to expand my experiences in palaeobotany research!".

How will your project benefit your career? - I am absolutely enthralled by plant physiology and the many ways that plants affect their surroundings. Palaeobotany is a field of study that encompasses my interests in Earth history, the plant fossil record, morphology, and evolution. Working in Dr. McElwain's lab will be integral to building my experiences in this fascinating field. Hoping to attend graduate school at the University of Chicago, this experience will help me to continue pursuing my goals past my undergraduate career.

What are your hobbies? - I am an avid fan of music--I constantly shuffle through my IPod, actively seek opportunities to enjoy live music, and love to participate in jam sessions with good friends. The outdoors are a major part of my life, and I try my best to get involved with local preservation efforts by organizing fellow conservationists to remove invasive species from our county's forest preserves. I also love to write, draw, read, and run!

Next September I'll be - I will be starting my third year at UIUC, continuing my studies in biology and English.

What do you want to do on the weekends? - Conduct adventures throughout Ireland, delve into a plethora of new experiences, have a wonderful time in good company...and I'll definitely seek out places to enjoy live music!

What are you most excited about this summer? - Immersing myself in a foreign culture, meeting so many new people, working on a project with the UCD Palaeoecology and Palaeobiology Group, exploring the beauty of Ireland...I'm so excited about everything--in all honesty, this upcoming journey is a dream come true!

Birthday - June 30th


The College of Mount Saint Joseph, USA

Lab - Biocontrol

"The program sounded interesting and I felt it would be a good experience".

How will your project benefit your career? - I plan on going into some sort entomological field.  I think this project will give me a firsthand account of one application of entomology.

Next September I'll be - In my senior year.

What do you want to do on the weekends? - I plan on checking out Dublin and finding a few caches.

What are you most excited about this summer? - Living in Ireland.

Birthday - July 20th


University College Dublin, Ireland

Lab - Ecological Modelling

How will your project benefit your career? - It will allow me insight into what my fourth year is going to be like as well as whether or not I want to pursue a Ph.D. and research or  Masters and Job. Hopefully gain some valuable insight into working and researching within a laboratory environment as well as group and leadership skills.

What are your hobbies? - Music (play guitar), love all kinds of sports namely soccer, rugby and American football, reading and swimming.

Next September I'll be - Hopefully, if all goes well with exams, I intend on pursuing a masters or Ph.D. in stem cells, forensics or cytogenetics.

What do you want to do on the weekends? - Spend time with family and friends.

What are you most excited about this summer? - Going to San Francisco after the exams, getting to do the UREKA project and relaxing a little before fourth year begins.

Birthday - September 11th


Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

Lab - Biocontrol

"I think this is a great opportunity to gain a lot of experience and learn a lot since I will be working together with a professional in the topic. I'm very happy about meeting other people, other students, making new friends, and sharing with another culture!! And finally, I'm also very excited about going to Dublin since it will be the first time for me to travel to Europe. I've heard that Dublin is a very beautiful city!!".

How will your project benefit your career? - I think the project where I'm going to work will provide me several skills and a lot of experience to do almost any kind of related job. Also, I plan to complete PASEM which is a requisite at my school back home that is about doing an internship of a full-time job of about two months.

What are your hobbies? - I love to spend time with my family, my friends, and with my little dog. I highly enjoy to play soccer, go running, swimming, camping, watching movies, and going out with my friends. I also like to learn biology and physics and watch documentaries...

Next September I'll be - This coming September, I'm going to start my final year of my undergrad program and I will also continue doing my final thesis wich is about tropical diseases transmitted by insects as vectors.

What do you want to do on the weekends? - I will try to have fun as much as I can. I would like to visit different places in Dublin, to play soccer (if other people want to :p), and go out with my new friends!

What are you most excited about this summer? - About everything!!! the sole idea of coming to Dublin is great!! knowing that I'm gonna learn a lot, that now I have the chance to work in the Museum of Natural History of Dublin, makes me very very happy!

Birthday - January 23th. But I don't have any problem to celebrate my next birthday during this summer, haha.. joke!


University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

Lab - Plant Genomics

"I’m excited about coming to Dublin this summer because I find plant genomics a fascinating field and cultivated an interest in it after spending last summer working on a project within the Brassica genome in Göttingen, Germany.  Taking more classes in systems biology and genome function this year also highlighted my interest in plant genomics and I am thrilled to get the opportunity to work in the National Museum and National Botanic Gardens.  Dublin sounds like an amazing place and it’ll be incredible to research and live in such a lively city".

How will your project benefit your career? - I hope to do a Masters and PhD within genomics and systems biology, and I think this project will provide unique insights and experiences within these fields.

What are your hobbies? - I’m interested in reading, music, adventure sports like rafting and political issues.  I also love coming across poetry and exploring new places.

Next September I'll be - Hopefully starting graduate school somewhere interesting (and less cold!)

What do you want to do on the weekends? - Travelling and exploring!  I want to get familiar with Dublin and also visit other parts of Ireland and Europe

What are you most excited about this summer? - I’m excited about meeting the other students, learning more about plant genomics and research methods and having lots of good times in the program.  I also can’t wait to experience Ireland and check out all my favourite bands at Oxegen.

Birthday - 7 September


Iowa State University, USA

Lab - Limnology

"It is a really great chance to get some research experience with a field that I am interested in as well as a chance to experience a new country".

How will your project benefit your career? - I am enthused about all things related to water and this project is a fantastic opportunity to actually get out there and see if that love of water will translate into a career path.

What are your hobbies? - I enjoy almost anything outside as well as reading, cooking and card playing.

Next September I'll be - Back in Iowa starting the last year of college.

What do you want to do on the weekends? - Just try to take in as much of Ireland and the culture as possible. And of course taking a multitude of pictures.

What are you most excited about this summer? - I am really looking forward to doing research and meeting new people. Actually, I am excited about everything!

Birthday - 11 November


Universidad de los Andes, Bogota

Lab - Plant Genomics

"Dublin offers me not only an academic enrichment opportunity but also a cultural one".

How will your project benefit your career? - I will have the opportunity to learn new things about management and use of collections. Besides, I will have the possibility to practice new laboratory procedures as well as improve my scientific thinking.

What are your hobbies? - Walking, bike riding and traveling.

Next September I'll be - Probably I will be finishing my studies. However, if somebody had asked me one year ago where I will be next summer, I would not have imagined that at Ireland!

What do you want to do on the weekends? - I would like to travel by the city and by the field. The architecture, green zones and castles seem incredible. Further, I would like to visit the Wicklow Mountains, the famous Valley of the Kings and the old town of Dun Laoghaire. Finally, if time allows me I will visit the peculiar ecosystems at the Burren.

What are you most excited about this summer? - It is a unique research experience in a country to discover.

Birthday - 27 May


NUI Maynooth, Ireland

Lab - Soil Ecology

"Coming from the smallest university in Ireland it will be nice to spend some time on the biggest!  Some of my friends go to UCD and the whole experience sounds good.  I'm really looking forward to gaining some lab work and am also looking forward to living near the capital too and attending some of the things that go on there during the summer months".

How will your project benefit your career? - I am hoping to eventually obtain a PhD and I believe this programme will give me some invaluable relevant experience for my further studies.  The project i'm working on this year is in an area that interests me and I hope it will help guide me in the future.

What are your hobbies? - I enjoy listening to music, playing computers, reading, cooking and watching movies.

What will you be doing next September? - Not entirely sure yet, either Dublin or Edinburgh, hopefully starting my postgraduate studies!

What do you want to do on the weekends? - Probably be sticking around Dublin though I may occasionally head to visit some friends around the country.

What are you most excited about this summer? - Working in a lab that isn't an undergraduate lab!  I'm looking forward to meeting like minded individuals and making this experience an enjoyable one.

Birthday - 6 January