Katherine PicKatherine Poulos is an M.A. student in the Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) Department at Columbia University. She is researching the foraging ecology of the invasive insect, the #spottedlanternfly. Prior to becoming a graduate student, Katherine worked as a gardener in public parks, controlling invasive insects and plants. Since summer 2020, she has been working to control the spotted lanternfly. She has monitored parks across NYC for the insect (even in its egg form in the middle of winter!) and has designed and taught environmental education programs about the insect. She has also worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension, working with nursery growers to monitor for pests and reduce pesticide applications. Her passions are insect pest management/control and research that could potentially inform those efforts.
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zxXingya Zhao is an M.A. student in the Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) Department at Columbia University. Her thesis aims to determine if information about bird blow fly species (AKA #VampireMaggot) and bird species is encoded as unique components in the fly’s associated bacteria. Which is a natural transition from her previous research experience at the University of Connecticut, observing and recording data from bird nest videos and extracting bird DNA samples. She has an overall interest in ornithology, behavioral ecology, and host-parasite interactions.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing and writing fan fiction.
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Altrim Mamuti JKC

Altrim A. Mamuti is an undergraduate student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) Department at Columbia University. His capstone project thesis is based on the distribution and abundance of wood boring beetles in NYC parks. Prior to transferring to Columbia, Altrim majored in biotechnology and studied sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) embryonic development, as well as marine bacteria in a symbiotic relationship with sea urchins. He also interned as a summer researcher at the Advanced Science Research Center at CUNY, where he studied dinoflagellate phytoplankton assemblages in Long Island Sound. His interests revolved around microbiology, plants within marine and forest ecosystems, and organismal ecology. A fun fact about Altrim is that he loves Sir David Attenborough’s nature documentaries.

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