BLaST

2015-2016 BLaST Scholars

Gabriel Cartagena
Major: Psychology
Research Interests: As a researcher, I am focused on combining biomedical, psychological, and public health disciplines to develop a larger context of the wellness of an individual and their community. I have experience with chronic illness, substance use, psychosocial research with young children, and work with HIV/AIDS survivorship. I am most interested in community psychology with relation to the facets of substance addiction as well as the experiences of chronic illness. I am currently developing an interdisciplinary research project using Photovoice with individuals living with HIV/AIDS in rural South Africa.
Personal Interests: If I am not studying, I love volunteering, mountain climbing, biking, reading, kayaking, baseball and distance running.

Elizabeth Himschoot
Major: B.S. Biological Sciences
Research Interests: I am interested in researching wildlife populations and pathology. Through research I have done I know it is hard to ask the right questions to figure out which events in an animalā€™s life are important. I would like to study population dynamics within a species and between species in order to get some structure. From there understanding common pathogens and how they are transmitted will help set up a baseline for future research, to better identify abnormalities.
Personal Interests: I love animals, and plan to attend Veterinary School. I am an active member of the UAF Pre-Veterinary Club, spend a few hours every week volunteering at the local animal shelter, and volunteer at low income spay and neuter programs. I also enjoy photography and baking which I tie into my love of animals by taking nature photographs and attempting to make sweets that look like various animals

Dallon Knight
Major: Chemistry
Research Interests: I am interested and have been working with metal(loid) bioaccessibility. Specifically I have been studying the bioaccessibility of metal(loid)s in mine tailings and in road dust.
Personal Interests: I love to be outdoors, and especially love to fish year round. I also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and atv riding. I also enjoy playing board games and watching movies. Whatever I am doing, the most important part to me is that I am with my family and friends.

Brandon Kowalski
Major: Biological Sciences
Research Interests: Currently researching phytoremediation of diesel contaminated soils. I am also very interested in human health research as well as research in exercise physiology.
Personal Interests: I love to ride bikes and play guitar my free time! After graduation I plan on pursuing a graduate degree in biology or exercise science.

Stacey Krepel
Major: Biochemistry
Research Interests: I have thus far researched Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and Leukemia; cancer research is what I hope to have a career in.
Personal Interests: Playing/coaching volleyball, writing (mostly fiction novels), playing softball,doing community service, reading, painting, and cooking.

Tandi Marth
Major: Psychology, Biology
Research Interests: Behavioral neuroscience
Personal Interests: Snowboarding, bonfires, writing, reading, painting, hanging out with my kids

Abigail Moran
Major: B.S. Biological Sciences
Research Interests: I am interested in cardiovascular health, virology, and cancer research. I am currently working on an Alaska Caregiver Assessment Survey: Assessing the Strengths and Needs of our Alaska Informal Caregiver with Dr. Ellen Lopez.
Personal Interests: I have a strong passion for the outdoors and will commonly be going on for a snowshoeing trip on the weekends. I also have been finding quite a fun time in the scientific diving class this semester where we will go to Kachemak bay in Homer over spring break.

Kristen Rhode
Major: Wildlife Biology and Conservation
Research Interests: Brown adipose tissue in dogs, the rigid pericardium of shark hearts, cancer in Tasmanian devils.
Personal Interests: Hockey (goalie), mushing, hunting, reading, photography, computer gaming

Ronin Ruerup
Major: Chemistry
Research Interests: Chemistry, Biochemistry
Personal Interests: Reading, video games, Fishing

Adam Paskvan
Major: Chemistry
Research Interests: Currently I am interested in nutritional research, but further in the future I am wanting to pursue research in medical health by working more in a clinical setting.
Personal Interests: I have a strong passion for the outdoors and will commonly be going on for a snowshoeing trip on the weekends. I also have been finding quite a fun time in the scientific diving class this semester where we will go to Kachemak bay in Homer over spring break.

Vanessa Santana-Miranda
Major: Biological Sciences
Research Interests: Animal health including for example aging, physiological adaptations to northern climates, hibernation and hematology
Personal Interests: Running, biking, canoeing, playing the drums

Janelle Feller
Major: Biology
Research Interests: I am interested in doing research in behavioral neuroscience.
Personal Interests: I like going to school and learning. I also like reading and watching tv.

Kendrick Hautala
Major: Biological Sciences
Research Interests: I intend to graduate with at least a bachelors degree and learn as much as I can scientifically while working with and researching animals that have had large cultural influences on me while growing up, like caribou, moose, and other small game. I have this drive to learn what is going on and be able to share with others that make decisions to manage and protect these valuable resources of the Yup'ik people on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Personal Interests: I love to be outdoors hiking getting fresh air, subsistence hunting and fishing, and trapping. I enjoy learning new things around me. I like to make others happy in ways that are both easy and challenging.

Thorne Varier
Major: Cell and Molecular Biology
Research Interests: Neurosurgery, Neurotoxicology, Neuroscience, Neurology
Personal Interests: I am an avid reader, a dedicated stargazer, and an enthusiastic music lover.

Alyssa Weaver
Major: Biological Sciences
Research Interests: clinical research, obesity, nutrition, muscle, medicine
Personal Interests: piano, yoga, skiing, cooking, traveling, spending time with my family, gardening, reading