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Sara ElShafie
Padian Lab

Sara ElShafie


Research: "I am interested in changes in growth rates in herpetofaunas (reptiles and amphibians) in response to changes in climate. Using observable changes in growth rates from histological analysis, I plan to reconstruct paleoclimate based on data from fossil and extant herpetofaunas. I also hope to use these data to predict responses of herpetofaunas to future global change."

Why I study paleontology: "I love paleontology because it requires both scientific thinking and imagination, analysis and art. Paleontology also connects to almost every field of science. It is the perfect gateway drug to get people interested in science! Furthermore, studying the history of life on Earth, and how that history continues to shape the Earth today, is a very humbling and gratifying experience. It is the perfect way to gain a deeper appreciation of yourself and everything around you."

Why the UCMP?: "The UCMP offers students the valuable opportunity to simultaneously participate in a top-notch university program and a top-notch museum. As students in Integrative Biology affiliated with the UCMP, we are able to learn from professors, curators, educators, collections managers, technicians, and artists, all in the same environment. As a student with a passion for both research and public outreach, I am so excited to be able to learn in both spheres at once through the course of my graduate training!"