Graduate Student Highlight: James Elliott

James Elliott, a second-year Master of Science student in the School of Forest Resources from Danvers, Massachusetts, enjoys scuba-diving and collecting insects in his free time.

“It’s like Pokémon but real,” said Elliott, who worked in the biotech industry before coming to UMaine.

Elliott enjoys getting out of his comfort zone. When he had the chance to work on an interdisciplinary study linking technical lab work with the social sciences, he was intrigued.

The project, researching the rate of tick-borne diseases in winter ticks and moose, parallels his interest in insects. An additional aspect of this interdisciplinary work is evaluating public perception of the risk of diseases from ticks, starting with the Native American community neighboring UMaine.

“Learning why humans do things, how they perceive things and how that aligns with what’s actually out there is kind of a fascinating topic,” said Elliott. “That’s enough to pique my interest.”

Elliott appreciates the connections he has made with professors on campus. He says at UMaine he’s never felt like a burden or that he was bothering professors with questions or extra help. He believes these mentors are passionate about their work and happy to share their expertise.

“I really like that there’s a lot of new faculty at this point,” said Elliott. “I lucked out with having some awesome access [to professors].”

Written by Kendra Caruso
Media Contact Christel Peters, 207.581.3571