Kalyn Bickerman

What year and semester did you begin EES graduate studies?
Spring 2012

What degree are you pursuing?

Who is your academic advisor?
Frank Drummond

What prior degrees do you have?
B.A. in Biology from Bowdoin College, M.A. in Conservation Biology from Columbia University

Why did you choose to attend grad school at UMaine? Why did you choose EES?
I chose to attend UMaine because I always knew I wanted to return to Maine (my home state) to settle and I thought I’d make great connections through the University when it came to choosing a career. EES made the most sense for me because although I am interested in research science, I am also eager to look at how it can apply to policies and management techniques. I was ultimately drawn by the multidisciplinary approach.

Briefly describe the research project you are working on.
I’m on a USDA grant, along with others in a diversity of research fields, to promote native pollinators in blueberry fields in Downeast Maine. My focus is in native bumblebee heath, disease, and immunocompetence levels.

What has been your favorite classes at UMaine so far?
I’m relatively new to UMaine, but I really enjoyed Applied Population Genetics (SMS 425) with Paul Rawson.

What has been your most rewarding research experience and why?
I hope to get much more experience in the lab environment than I’ve been able to get previously, and I’m looking forward to applying my (eventual) data to agricultural systems that are so important in the economics of Maine.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate students?
My advice is to pursue your interests. Although I had very little experience with insects, I’m more intrigued by disease ecology and therefore tailored my research to encompass that. Also, be open to gaining new experiences and take advantage of all the people and diverse research interests the University has to offer.

Are you interested in mentoring undergraduates?