Love of Ecology Leads Biology Ph.D. Student to Syracuse University
Elise Hinman says “great group of ecologists” make all the difference at Syracuse
Elise Hinman, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at the College of Arts and Sciences, developed her love of ecology while growing up in Auburn, California, a small town at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Before enrolling in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Hinman attended the University of California at Davis, earning a B.S. in environmental science. She also spent two years conducting ecological restoration near San Francisco.
Hinman says professors like plant ecologist Jason Fridley led her to Syracuse University’s graduate program. The faculty, staff, and fellow students around her in the laboratory and in the biology department are helping her achieve her goal of becoming a college professor.
“I love working with the people in my lab and department” Hinman says. “They’re a great group of ecologists and I’m working with fabulous mentors in a supportive lab. I’m learning how to be a high-quality scientist and teacher.”
Fridley says that Hinman has been one of the most actively involved students in the biology department’s new Climate Change Garden, an outdoor laboratory filled with a variety of trees and shrubs that will help professors and students study the effects of climatic variation and global warming on different plants. “The collaboration of faculty and dedicated students like Elise is what will make our important and innovative research in the Climate Change Garden successful,” Fridley says.
Hinman’s passion for the environment is not limited to the classroom or the laboratory. Hinman’s favorite activities around Central New York include rock climbing, running, hiking, biking, and skiing. She especially loves hiking at Green Lakes and in nearby Ithaca. She also enjoys taking advantage of the many live music venues in the area, like the Westcott Theater.
“Between my advisors and mentors in the College of Arts and Sciences and the opportunities outside of the classroom to get real ecological experience, Syracuse University was the perfect place to complete my degree and prepare me for a career in ecology.”