Current Students

Student Bios and Research Interests

GHE students come from a wide variety of backgrounds with diverse research interests. See below for current student bios and research interests.

Check out some of our adventures from this past summer at our GHE blog!

Bios and Research Interests of Current Students in the GHE Program

Class of 2017
Matías Tagle Matías is graduated in Biochemistry, Economics minor, in Chile, He worked as air pollution researcher, developed air quality studies in his own country, as well some other in the region. He assisted to local environmental agencies in Chile, Paraguay and Brazil, addressing new policies for air pollution. summer project
Swati Rayasam Swati graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a BS in Biology and a double minor in Chemistry and Journalism. As an undergrad, she worked as a research assistant in Pharmacology where she worked on the functional complementation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Penicillin-Binding Protein 1 with E.coli Penicillin-Binding Proteins 1A and 1B and their cognate lipoprotein cofactors. She also did Social and Behavioral research with UNC’s Center for Infectious Diseases on comparing HIV testing barriers for rural and urban physicians in North Carolina. Concurrently  with her studies, she worked on a variety of social justice issues such as migrant farmworker health, transgender healthcare coverage, and voting rights. Prior to attending Berkeley, she spent two years working at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute in a vaccine development lab researching stable expression of lentiviral antigens by the attenuated vaccine strain for TB, Mycobacterium bovis Calmette-Guérin (BCG). She is interested in the intersection of infectious disease and environmental health as it pertains to a range of environmental justice issues including water contamination with anti-microbial agents, slum health, and climate change.
Carly Barker Carly graduated from Carthage College in 2015 with a BA in Environmental Science, receiving All College Honors distinction in her major. For her undergraduate thesis, Carly spent a summer in a rural Guatemalan agricultural community conducting soil tests and interviewing farmers to examine any correlations between preferred agricultural methods, soil nutrient levels, and overall crop yield. In addition to her thesis work, Carly also held an internship at the Chicago EPA in the Region 5 Brownfields and Land Revitalization Department, focusing on how various aspects of the built environment affect community health in Midwestern cities. Within the GHE program, Carly is specifically interested in Maternal and Child Health and environmental justice in underrepresented communities.
Class of 2018
Theoren Loo Theo received his BS in microbiology with a minor in global health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he served as a Wisconsin Idea Fellow for his work on water security on the Eastern Cape of South Africa. During his tenure as an undergraduate, Theo worked at the Wisconsin Department of Public Health monitoring vector borne diseases, and researched nanoscale microfluidic isothermal PCR systems for use in a novel HIV viral load diagnostic test. For his graduate studies, Theo is primarily interested in the distribution patterns of waterborne diseases in rural communities that depend on groundwater as a source of drinking water.
Julia Rubin

Julia graduated for the University of Miami with a degree in Biology and Environmental Science and Policy. Her undergraduate research looked at the effects of stress on genetic variation in estuarine species Fundulus heteroclitus. After graduating, she focused her efforts on marine conservation and education. She spent the last year working with the non-profit organization Blue Ventures in Belize, tracking the invasive Lionfish population, and forming targeted interventions to eliminate the negative impacts of the invasion, such as growing issues of food and job insecurity in the region. Julia’s primary interests for her graduate research include sustainable food systems, in particular, aquaculture development, and the spread of disease through aquatic channels.

Arianna Wassmann

Arianna received her BS in Biology, as well as a self-designed minor in “Gender, Health and Medicine,” from Stanford University n 2013. After completing a community health fellowship through the Stanford Prevention Research Center, she worked briefly at a health-related start-up before joining Genentech, a biotechnology pharmaceutical company. Within the GHE program, Arianna’s graduate research interests include marine conservation efforts (particularly in regard to their effects on global food security and public health), infectious disease prevention in Latin America, and environmental social justice movements.