February 6, 2020

Welcome Mallory Rice!

Mallory Rice

About me

I grew up between Sonoma County and very rural Mendocino County, and I loved the redwoods and rugged, rocky coastlines of northern California so much I stayed there to pursue my undergraduate degree in biology at Sonoma State University. Afterwards, I moved down to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to earn my PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. While at UCSB, I pursued research investigating how human impacts to coastal ecosystems (i.e., land-based pollution, seawater warming) mediated the effects of biotic processes on the mortality and physiology of foundation species. My interest in equity in biology education really stems from my experience as a low-income, first-generation college going student, and the challenges I faced navigating higher education. Strong mentors invested in my success, and being a mentor for undergraduate students at UCSB, fostered my interest in understanding how we can 1) improve access points to biology in higher education and 2) reduce the barriers nontraditional students face to succeed in biology. 

On weekends you can find me baking new desserts and breads from scratch, cooking Italian foods, hiking, and exploring San Francisco. 

Research Interest 

I am very excited to be joining the SEPAL team. I am interested in exploring the utility of peer learning assistants and exploring tools that can be used in biology education classrooms to reduce the achievement gaps between students. I’m also interested in investigating the influence of instructor talk on student motivation and performance in biology classrooms. 

Advice for Others: 

Build your community! Build a science community to help lift you up when science becomes frustrating. Build your “non-science” community as well! Whether that is fellow artists, runners, birders to hike with, or in my case, weightlifters, find your non-science passion and build a wonderful community within that space. This helps build a healthy work-life balance in your life and provides you with really insightful perspectives that we often don’t find within academia.

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