Getting to Know U
- Jefferson, Oregon
- Intended Degree:
- B.S., Marine Science/Biology
Far before they ever set foot in a laboratory, some of the world’s most innovative scientists began their careers stirring bubbling pots, heating heavy metal basins, and mixing things up in their family’s kitchen: Nicholas Kurti, Hervé This, and now, Ryan McMinds. “I have been doing ‘experiments’ in my kitchen and backyard as long as I can remember,” says Ryan McMinds, a native of Jefferson, Oregon, and first-year Marine Science and Biology major at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School.
In high-school McMinds participated in the Apprentices in Science and Engineering (ASE) program, a prestigious eight-week apprenticeship where he worked in a USDA plant pathology lab at Oregon State University. “I was allowed to participate in genetic research at every step, from DNA extraction through sequencing, and for two months I sequenced and analyzed pieces of genes from Pseudoperonospora humuli and P. cubensis in order to distinguish the two strains, and eventually help Hops growers control these pathogen.”
With a hunger for more, McMinds had one prerequisite for college: “I wanted to travel”, he says, “see places I had always dreamed of exploring. I discovered that the Rosenstiel School was an excellent marine science institution with great opportunities, a wonderful diversity of courses and majors, and fortunately, they offered me a strong scholarship package.” As one of the University of Miami’s Foote Fellows, McMinds is able to design his own course of study. Though he is taking time to become better acquainted with the campus and his peers, he is motivated to get back in the lab. “Genetics fascinates me, and biology of any type is very exciting, so I plan to help out with research in a lab at the Rosenstiel School studying zooxanthellae genetics. For me, research has been the best way to get experience; where classes introduce you to important theories and ideas, research expands your capabilities in practical terms.”
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