Lauren graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in German Studies from Rhodes College in 2019. They are now a PhD candidate in the Plant and Molecular Biology department joint pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Computational and Genomic Biology at UC Berkeley. Since they spent most of their undergraduate career working across educational institutions to pursue plant research and are the first in their family to attend graduate school, Lauren knows first-hand the importance of mentoring in both personal and professional growth. They hope to help students navigate the unspoken research hierarchy and break down barriers that promote exclusivity and bias in science.
Lauren focuses on understanding the evolutionary dynamics of stress-activated transposable elements in Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus). Through their work in the Blackman Lab, they aim to advance their life-long quest to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of genome evolution.