Student Researcher, Michigan State University

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You can do it! Pursue your passions and find a community of people who will support you.

Hazel Anderson

What do you do?

I am studying Environmental Plant Biology. Currently, I am conducting research on comparing plant and frugivore species distribution models in the neotropics to understand patterns of biodiversity to better inform conservation efforts, especially as the climate changes.

Why did you choose this field?

Researching and understanding ecosystems is something I find fascinating. I want to help inform how we conserve the biodiversity on Earth to preserve it for future generations. I realized that I wanted to be a scientist after my first research experience, where I was able to assist a Ph.D. student with her field research on oak trees.
I was and still am inspired by all the women in STEM before me. Representation matters.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Being a co-author on a paper published in a scientific journal, even if it's a chemistry paper and I am not a chemist.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love that I am able to always be learning and I get to work with so many brilliant and kind scientists.

Best advice for next generation?

You can do it! Pursue your passions and find a community of people who will support you on your journey.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"As a scientist I am only an ant, insufficient and anonymous. But I am stronger than I look and part of something much bigger than I am." - Hope Jahren

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