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UCLA ecology and evolutionary biology scholars travel the globe engaging in real-world research.
Taking her first evolutionary biology class changed the life of Mericien Venzon ’14.
Venzon, a biology major, previously thought she’d be a practicing physician, but she shifted to research, with a focus on studying the evolutionary development of fish in coral reefs. She spent a week in January 2014 in Canberra, Australia, presenting her research results to the International Biogeography Society’s early career conference. Her research is helping efforts to heal people as well as the ecosystem.
“I see more potential to help more people in research,” Venzon says. “You might not get the immediate gratification of helping a patient, but in the long run, you help more people by finding new treatments and cures.”
Exploring that sort of curiosity about the world around us is what the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is all about. Undergraduate students engage in field research projects and learning experiences at home and around the world. Students have traveled to Africa, South and Central America and French Polynesia, among other locations, to conduct research and experience life as a field or marine biologist. Many have gone on to fill important roles in the U.S. government, in the medical and health care field, and in the world of academia.
Gifts to the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology make it possible for UCLA scholars to conduct the kind of field and on-site research that will help create a better world.
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