Emily Kerns (she/her)
Credentials: PhD Student - Weber Lab
I study the role epigenetics plays in evolution of natural populations. I am especially interested in how heritable epigenetics may influence species (mal)adaptive responses to rapid environmental fluctuations as climate change advances.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in iBio?
I have always been passionate about understanding how the environment affects evolution. After spending a few years working as a field biology technician collecting environmental data, I was eager to get back into an academic atmosphere where I could use my creativity to ask exciting questions and design experiments.
Why or what do you love about the program?
I enjoy the freedom that is built into the program. There are no course requirements, so I only take classes that I am excited about and that I know will be useful for my research. As a graduate student, I am encouraged to form collaborations with researchers in other departments and at other institutions. This freedom has allowed me to expand my horizons and form a more integrative/robust foundation from which to approach the questions that initially interested me.
Future Plans: I hope to stay in academia as a Principal Investigator.
Fun Fact: I once had a job where I had to commute by float plane.
University of North Florida: B.S. Biology, concentration in Coastal and Marine Biology, minor in Chemistry