Congratulations to this year’s Genetics and Genomics Outstanding Senior Award winners Madalene Halley and Olivia Panthofer!
Madalene, pictured on the left, started her research career in the lab of Dr. Lucia Gutierrez where she studied the effect of photoperiod length on growth rate in oats. This research led to a publication in 2020. Since this time, Madalene has been working in Dr. Anna Huttenlocher’s lab studying G-protein coupled receptors since 2021, and expects to have another publication. Madalene participated in the Mayo Clinic Summer Lab Science Program.
Madalene is a board member of the Undergraduate Genetics Association (UGA). She’s been involved in the Science Saturday outreach program. Madalene has also been involved with Badger SPILL, a peer to peer support network. Madalene is also a Prairie Restoration Worker through the Mississippi Valley Conservancy. Her future plans are to pursue a PhD at the University of Minnesota in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental, and Genetics program.
Olivia, pictured on the right, has been an undergraduate research in lab of Dr. Cameron Currie. Here, she investigated the role of viruses in shaping bacterial dynamics of fungus farming ant systems. For this work, she received the Genetics and Genomics Research Fellowship. This work has led to a publication. Olivia is also a lab technician with the USDA-ARS where she is involved in a project to enhance the productivity of alfalfa and red clover.
Olivia co-founded STEM students for Social Justice. This organization fosters conversations on the intersection of STEM and social justice and human rights advocacy work. Olivia also served as an ESL tutor, was an intern with WISPIRG, and has served as a food pantry hostess at St. Vincent De Paul. She is currently looking for jobs in the biotechnology field.