, 2022-09-30 14:17:48,
Jessica Hua joined the UW–Madison faculty in August 2022 as an assistant professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.
What is your hometown? Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Austin, Texas.
What is your educational/professional background, including your previous position?
I received my bachelor’s in biology and kinesiology at Southwestern University and my PhD at the University of Pittsburgh in ecology and evolution. I did my post doc at Purdue University in disease ecology. I was then an assistant and associate professor at SUNY Binghamton where I served as the director for the Center for Watershed Studies. I was at SUNY for 7 years before moving to UW–Madison.
How did you get into your field of research?
I played college basketball and one of my teammates was in a research lab and suggested that it was a good experience for my then goal of pursuing medical school. By the time I applied for research opportunities the only option still available was to work on amphibians. I was a little nervous as I was afraid of amphibians at the time but, looking back, this was such a formative experience. I was so fortunate to end up in this lab because the PI’s mentorship led me to my PhD program in amphibian ecotoxicology which catalyzed my current career.
What are the main goals of your current research and outreach programs?
Research in the Hua lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to address two main goals: (1) to understand ecological interactions, evolutionary processes, and eco-evo feedbacks in human modified environments and (2) to evaluate the role of outreach and citizen science in shaping community perception and understanding of science.
What attracted you to UW–Madison?
I was really attracted to the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, which has a longstanding commitment to supporting faculty in both research and the integration of research and education. I describe it below in more detail but I was also very much drawn to the department and university’s commitment to making a difference beyond the university. This describes exactly my vision for the lab. I am excited to take my training in basic ecology and evolution and translate it to solving real-world challenges.
What was your first visit to campus like?
I only had the chance to visit campus one time at the end of December. Despite being incredibly cold, the energy…
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