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Connecting with the Community

As a first generation college student, I discovered that navigating my way through a STEM degree was difficult at times. I recognize that my academic successes have been in part due to the wonderful mentors I had along the way.

Equally important is the value that community engagement itself brings to the field of ecology.  Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is being threatened by climate change, biological invasions, and anthropogenic influences. To make a true impact, we must extend beyond academia, and make science more accessible and appealing for the general public.  

Outreach is one of my favorite aspects of being a scientist, as it gives me the opportunity to share my gained knowledge and most importantly, get people excited about science- wooh!

Cal-IPC Student Section

I served as the chair of the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) student & early career section for the past few years. This non-profit organization provides opportunities for students and early career professionals interested in Invasive species research and management. To find out more, please visit our website:

Cal-IPC Student Section Blog

2019 Symposium Student Early Career Clai


Recently, I have been dabbling in the world of Science Communication, SciComm for short, as a way to improve my own communication skills & also as a way to reach broader audiences with my field of research. Check out some of the SciComm projects I've been working on:

Ecology SciComm


Engaging with Undergraduates

I love sharing my journey, research, and advice with students interested in pursuing careers in STEM.

I believe it is crucial to eliminate the idea that "all scientists are geniuses". In reality, a lot of us are just persistent and are constantly learning from our failures. I give talks to undergraduates where I share my journey to graduate school, how I chose my field of research, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

In the Larios Ecology Lab, I also train undergraduate students in the basics of conducting scientific research. Teaching them how to collect, analyze and interpret data.


K-12 Outreach

Engaging the next generation of scientists is both essential and an enriching experience.

Every year, I speak to high school students about careers in ecology and share my journey to graduate school as a first-gen college student. 

I also take part in local K-12 programs aimed at raising interest in STEM fields and increasing scientific literacy. Such as DroughtReach, STEMaPalooza, & more.


Peer Mentoring

Mentoring is essential at every stage of our careers. The mentors I've had along my journey were/are invaluable to my success, as a result, I seek to reciprocate that guidance to the next generation of scientists. I have served as a mentor to students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. I do this through one-on-one mentoring, developing and presenting workshops. If you are interested in establishing a mentor-mentee relationship, please feel free to connect with me!


Increasing Accessibility 

Land practitioners are at the forefront of managing invasive species, directly. Yet, lack of communication between land practitioners and researchers, along with land practitioners' lack of, or limited access to scientific articles generates a research-management gap that can hinder effective land management. Therefore, every year I meet with local agencies and land practitioners to share my research and discuss how my findings can be applied to solve pressing issues.

Multilingual science is also important. I was invited to give a seminar (in Spanish) on invasive plant dynamics to students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I also am in the process of creating bilingual (Eng/Spa) scientific resources.

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