Sara El houzaly
After graduating from high school in Morocco, I came to New York to finish up my studies. I started attending LaGuardia community College where I joined many programs that helped me discover my passion to the field of evolutionary biology and biodiversity. One of the programs that helped me a lot was the NIH bridges program that supported me alongside with the help of my mentor in conducting a research about the influence of climate change on zoonotic diseases. This research enabled me to understand how populations change their geographical ranges and genetics in response to changes in climate. My interest in this field brought me to Ana’s lab, which welcomed me and helped me to understand many of the principles of evolutionary biology, phylogeography, and machine learning. In the future, I want to apply all that I have learned as I study both hominids and other animals, aiming to understand the factors that lead to mass extinctions, bottlenecks, and the collapse of ancient civilizations. With my research, I aim for people to realize that our planet is susceptible to catastrophic events such as extraterrestrial impacts, volcanic eruptions, geomagnetic excursions, and ice ages, some of these events perhaps recurring in a cyclical nature.