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Summer Blanco

Summer Blanco

What brought you to UGA? I applied to 9 graduate programs, and UGA offered me the most competitive fellowship. Additionally, the cost of living in GA meant my graduate student stipend went farther here compared to other locations across the US that I applied to. I was also able to visit Athens, and it was such a fun & eccentric town that I could see myself living at for the next 5-6 years.

What are your research/study interests? Broadly, I’m interested in flower color evolution. The Chang lab works with the genus, Geranium, which has anther/pollen color variation within and between species. I’m interested in using citizen science & computational methods to understand how this variation came to be!

What has been a benefit of being part of IPS?/How did it help you select your program? I came into IPS wanting to work with 1 advisor and finished rotations with 2 advisors (I am co-advised)! That’s just to say that it made networking and collaborating with other labs really accessible. 

What are your career goals? I’m interested in working at a public institution like a museum or botanical garden!

Who is your major professor? Drs. Shu-Mei Chang & Jim Leebens-Mack

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