Caitlin Fong ’11
CCS Biology

Caitlin Fong, a biology major in the College of Creative Studies, got an early start in research at UCSB and never slowed down. An invertebrate zoology course her first year sparked an interest in biology that led to a summer research experience with Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology Professor Todd Oakley. “He threw me in the lab, gave me an experiment, and said go,” explained Caitlin.

She continued working on that project her sophomore year and eventually published the results in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. This early success allowed Caitlin to explore other research opportunities, including field work in Panama and Florida.

As a junior she won research grants from Sigma Xi and the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum and embarked on an independent project studying algae in Tahiti. This project also resulted in research publications.

Caitlin recently earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and finished her degree early. She is continuing her research as a Ph.D. student in ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University. Based on her experience, she encourages other students to do research: “Treat research like it’s another class. It’s a primary part of one’s education, so make time for it.”