University of Missouri - Columbia
I learned to love biology and the natural world as a small child. I used to visit my father once a year in Bahia Solano, Choco, Colombia. There we spent our vacations exploring the jungle, and I made my decision to become a biologist because I wanted to know more about the biodiversity of my country.
Janelle BurkeLaura Burkle
Cornell University, L. H. Bailey Hortorium
What I really wanted after high school was an internship at the Brookfield zoo. My initial interests were in the biology of cute, cuddly mammals. Instead a friend helped me find a job in the herbarium of the Morton Arboretum, where he was a volunteer.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in plants. As a kid, the first thing I noticed about plants is that they sit still. My parents always kept house plants and rattled off long names, like Philodendron, that I never seemed to be able to remember.
Julia NowakCheng-Chiang Wu
University of British Columbia
Ever since I can remember, I was fascinated with the natural world. I loved picking and drying flowers and leaves and observing how nature worked. When we lived in Ukraine, my parents and I would often go mushroom picking. These trips got me out to appreciate nature and learn about it, as well as about the mushrooms that we picked.
The blessed journey to Botany started when I was admitted to the Department of Botany at National Taiwan University (NTU), as certified Talented Students in Biology by the Ministry of Education, Republic of China. Since my study in college, the wonderful biodiversity in the subtropical island of Taiwan has never failed to amaze me.
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