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What's it like to study Biology at UT?

See what students are saying about studying at The University of Texas at Austin's School of Biological Sciences.

Amy Rivera

Undergraduate, B.A. in Biology
Hometown: Austin, Texas

Amy RiveraWhat created your interest in Biology?

As a child I was always fascinated by nature and wanted to know WHY and HOW things were the way they were. Since then, I have been interested in studying plants. Dr. Roux's plant physiology course opened my eyes to all of the intriguing questions that remain unanswered in the field of botany.

What do you enjoy most about your studies or research?

I enjoy working with intelligent, creative people. The energy that surrounds research is infectious. Everyone involved in the project is turning over the same questions and coming up with different answers, or inventing a different method to test the same question. NOT knowing the answer to the question is most of the intrigue.

Why did you choose UT's School of Biological Sciences?

I chose to attend UT's School of Biological Sciences because it is a well recognized and respected research institution. I knew that I would have the opportunity to do laboratory research as an undergraduate, in multiple disciplines, with distinguished researchers. The array of biology courses offered and the number of amazing professors here at UT also swayed my decision to come here.

What's your favorite research tool?

My favorite research tool is confocal microscopy because it can be used in surprisingly innovative ways to answer a huge range of questions.

What are your career goals?

I would like to do research in molecular plant biology for some part of my career. I may pursue a tenured professor position, or a research position that allows me to work abroad. I would love to work in Latin America.

Are there any awards or special events related to your work that you'd like to share?

I have received the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Fellowship twice, which has funded two semesters of research. I also got the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica through a Duke University program. During the program, I completed an ethnobotanical research study on the use of medicinal plants to cure dermatological diseases among indigenous Costa Ricans.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to go for bike rides, cook gourmet meals (that is- not involving Ramen) and spend time with my friends.

What fun activity would you recommend to an incoming UT student?

Incoming UT students should get out and see all of the art that is in this city. There is a huge creative pool here and Austin harbors a ton of little hidden galleries that throw parties on the weekends.