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UAB in Antarctica
Jami de Jesus
Student Assistant 
UAB Department Of Biology

Ever since she can remember, Jami de Jesus has been drawn to water and has been fascinated by aquatic life. This fascination has manifested in many ways throughout her life – from pretending to be a mermaid in the bathtub and raising “Sea Monkeys” as a child, to digging through the sand for coquina shells at the beach, to learning to scuba dive. She has always loved science museums and aquaria, and she makes it a point to visit one in any new place she goes.

De Jesus is currently a UAB student in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program in Biology and plans to pursue a career in research. To that end, last year she joined a Biology Department lab and has been assisting with general animal husbandry, as well as research regarding the effects of nutrition on wound healing in zebrafish, and coculturing oysters and sea urchins. Her favorite lab skill she has learned is how to dissect sea urchins, and her least favorite lab smell is that of the rotifer culture.

Jami enjoys spending time with the animals, observing their behavior, and studying their life histories. Both nutrition and climate change can greatly affect behavior and life history, so Jami feels her research interests align well with this opportunity. She expects that she will learn many skills and gain many insights that will help her both in the continuation of her current studies once she returns to UAB to complete her master’s degree, as well as in general on her personal journey in research.

When asked what she finds most exciting about this research opportunity, Jami passionately responded, “I think being part of the UAB in Antarctica team will be the best part. When I joined my current lab, that was the first time that I felt I truly belonged and that I had found my people, and the more people I meet through my education and research, the more that feeling resonates. It will be really special to experience that with the team at Palmer and to experience research in a new way, in a completely different environment.”

Outside the lab, Jami’s hobbies include inline and ice skating, singing, playing the piano, watching horror movies, reading poetry, and, of course, anything involving water.