Boahemaa Adu-Oppong

Boahemaa Adu-Oppong

Evolution, Ecology, and Population Biology
Inducted in 2016

I am a graduate of Rice University class of 2011 and majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I did my undergraduate research with Joan Strassmann and Dave Queller and published 3 papers as their undergraduate and 2 as their research technician. Their lab studies uses a social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to answer evolutionary questions. My main projects focused on understanding the migration patterns and life history differences between two Dictyostelium species, D. purpureum and D. Dictyostelium. I received the NSF Pre-Doctoral Graduate Research Fellowship prior to starting my graduate school work at Washington University in St. Louis. I am conducting my thesis in Gautam Dantas’ lab and my main research is understanding how microbial communities are formed, created and are sustained over time. I study these microbial communities in two hosts, humans and roots of plants. I am looking forward to publishing my research on these communities soon. I also am the co-director of the Young Scientist Program (YSP). YSP aims to attract students to scientific careers and increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science by bringing resources and scientists directly to teachers and students. The program has four different programs: Teaching Teams, Summer Focus, Teaching Kits and Continuing Mentoring. I not only oversee the operations of these four different programs but I volunteer my time and energy to each one. I aspire to one day become a faculty member who connects with science teachers in the local area to provide support, not only academically but emotional as well.