Amanda Coleman

What inspired you to pursue a career in the biological sciences?

I was inspired to pursue a career in the biological sciences because I found an amazing mentor at UC Irvine and I want to make advancements in the field of genetics.

Tell us about your research.

I’m currently working on two projects, with the first one looking at water availability in avocado trees and the second focusing on how representation and access to resources impact retention in undergraduate STEM education.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’m very proud that I was able to represent UC Irvine by presenting a poster at American Geophysical Union, which is a national conference.

Can you speak to the importance of diversity and representation in the biological sciences?

Diversity and representation among the biological sciences are important because it allows students to have a sense of belonging within their fields and have role models that they see themselves, which means there more scientists making important innovations in biology.

What advice would you give to young black students interested in pursuing a career in the sciences?

As a black student, it may be hard to feel like you belong in the sciences, but just remember that if you are passionate about science then you will do great.

Can you tell us about a role model or mentor who has been influential in your career as a scientist?

My mentor, Amber Jolly in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at UCI, has been extremely helpful and influential to me as I’ve been on my journey of applying to graduate school and navigating my future career path.

What is your favorite hobby or activity outside of work?

Outside of school and work I love to watch movies and go on hikes.

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