EDUCATION

University of Chicago                                                                                                                                          Chicago, IL

B.S. with Honors in Biology with a Specialization in Ecology and Evolution, June 2015

B.S. in Mathematics, June 2015

Honors: Dean’s List (throughout undergraduate studies), Honors in Biology

Relevant Coursework: Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Fundamentals of Genetics, Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases, An Introduction to Bioinformatics and Proteomics, Ecology and Conservation, Evolution and Ecology, Statistical Methods and Applications, Introduction to Analysis and Linear Algebra, Analysis in Rn, Community Ecology, Theoretical Ecology, Reconstructing the Tree of Life, Advanced Numerical Analysis, Biogeography, Computer Science with Applications 1, Introduction to Computer Science 2

 

EDUCATION

University of Chicago                                                                                                                                          Chicago, IL

B.S. with Honors in Biology with a Specialization in Ecology and Evolution, June 2015

B.S. in Mathematics, June 2015

Relevant Coursework: Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Fundamentals of Genetics, Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases, An Introduction to Bioinformatics and Proteomics, Ecology and Conservation, Evolution and Ecology, Statistical Methods and Applications, Introduction to Analysis and Linear Algebra, Analysis in Rn, Algebra (Theoretical), Community Ecology, Theoretical Ecology, Reconstructing the Tree of Life, Advanced Numerical Analysis, Biogeography, Methods in Computational Neuroscience, Computer Science with Applications 1, Introduction to Computer Science 2, Introduction to Computer Systems

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

DE Shaw Research                                                                                                                                         New York, NY

Scientific Associate, Molecular Dynamic Simulations (October 2015 – Present)

·       Finding and fixing sources of non-convergence in free energy calculations

·       Using FEP to investigate how mutations affect protein bindin

Li Lab – Academia Sinica                                                                                                                              Taipei, Taiwan

SITG Grant and TIGP-IIP Funding, Cancer Genomics (June 2014 – Present)

·       Designing novel method for detecting structural variants in cancer genomes through direct comparison of tumor/somatic cell genomes

·       Simulating, testing on large genomic data sets (~80Gb), and searching/interpreting results to generate:

o   List of breakpoints with high confidence for further sequencing

o   Novel classes of structural variants that cannot be detected through indirect comparisons

·       Analyzed maize transcriptome (network of thousands of genes) to identify gene regulators with nonlinear models

Allesina Lab - University of Chicago                                                                                                                Chicago, IL

Optimal Foraging Theory, The Science of Science (January 2013 – Present)

·       Determine stability of optimal foraging permutations of empirical webs vs empirical and randomizations

·       Search for country bias in journal placement/citation performance by comparing performance to journal/year peers and removing determinants other than country affiliations

·       Using natural language to determine which elements of writing style affect citation performance by analyzing over 1 million abstracts

·       Identifying author strategies, quantifying their effectiveness, and uncovering the quantity/quality relationship with publications

Ostling Lab - University of Michigan                                                                                                            Ann Arbor, MI

Neutral Theory Modeling (June 2012 – Present)

·       Develop, code, and run explicit community models using observed data sets

·       Analyze and exploit trends in abundance data vs simulations to determine what processes shape community structure

·       Incorporating size structure into neutral model to see if helps to reject neutrality

·       Modeling and using empirical data sets to uncover the fundamental relationships between plot geometry and species richness, endemicity, and extinction estimates

Mycology - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew                                                                                                        London, UK

Jeff Metcalf Fellowship, Reconstructing the Phylogeny of Ramaria (June 2013 – Present)

·       Sequence fungal genes from specimen selection to cycle sequencing

·       Analyze sequence data and incorporate GenBank sequences to uncover phylogenetic relationships of the polyphyletic group

Moreau Lab – The Field Museum                                                                                                                     Chicago, IL

Genetics of Ants (January 2014 – April 2014)

·       Comparing microsatellites within colonies to determine paternal relatedness

·       Use paternal relatedness to infer patterns in wildly varying castes despite similar genome

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – University of Michigan                                         Vanderbilt, MI

Behavioral Research on Mice Populations (August 2012, September 2012)

·       Prepared, set, and captured live traps each day

·       Handled hundreds of wild small mammals and collected data and samples from each

·       Navigated forest and collected fauna measurements

Museum of Zoology - University of Michigan                                                                                             Ann Arbor, MI

Mite Pocket Evolution Research (June 2012 – September 2012)

·       Analyzed preserved lizard museum specimens by sexing, identifying mite anatomical location, etc.

·       Extensive specimen handling and data collection under microscope

 

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

Biological Sciences Collegiate Division – University of Chicago                                                                 Chicago, IL

Teaching Assistant (Spring 2013, Winter 2014)

·       Writing TA for “A Serious Introduction to Biology for Majors: From LUCA to the University of Chicago”

o   Taught how to effectively read/understand scientific literature and then contribute back to it through clear scientific writing

o   Explained key concepts from the literature across all disciplines of biology

·       TA for “Environmental Genetics”

South Side Free Music Program                                                                                                                        Chicago, IL

Music Production Lead Teacher and SSFMP Board Member (January 2013 - June 2014)

·       Volunteer at a center in South Chicago to teach high school kids music production

·       Develop a long-term project for the students to complete and present to the community

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Dauphin Island Sea Lab                                                                                                              Dauphin Island, Alabama

Externship with Senior Marine Scientist Ruth Carmichael (March 2013)

·       Assist in removing beached dolphin and dissecting to investigate cause of death

·       Retrieve incoming and effluent water samples from waste treatment centers and analyze for harmful bacteria and RNA viruses at FDA lab in incoming vs outgoing water

Division of Environmental Biology - National Science Foundation                                                    Washington, D.C.

Externship with Program Director Sam Scheiner (March 2012)

·       Met with a wide variety of biological and environmental scientists

·       Attended meetings on project funding

 

SKILLS and INTERESTS

·       Computer Skills: Proficient in C, Python, Java, Bash, scripting, R, MATLAB, Microsoft Office, Mac interface, SQLite, x86 assembly language, able to learn new languages quickly

·       Lab techniques: Microscopy, cell staining (including GFP), chromatography, titration, spectrophotometry, PCR, cycle sequencing, and more

·       Language: Conversational Spanish

·       Other interests: Traveling, musical composition/songwriting, videography, photography, volunteer at animal shelters, play trumpet in brass band, guitar, running, soccer, badminton, yoga

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS and PRESENTATIONS

·       Weinberger, C., Evans, J.A., Allesina, S. (In Press). Ten Simple (Empirical) Rules for Writing Science. for PLoS computational biology.

·       Ostling, A, Lake, J.K., Chong, G., Winters, J., Li, X., Weinberger, C., and Rael, R. (In Review). Test of a size-structured neutral theory of biodiversity. for Ecology.

·       Smith, M. J., Weinberger, C., Bruna, E. M., & Allesina, S. (2014). The Scientific Impact of Nations: Journal Placement and Citation Performance. PloS one 9(10), e109195.

 

CONTRIBUTED TALKS and POSTERS

·       Weinberger, C. and Ostling, A. Relationship between plot and species range geometry impacts species richness and extinction. Poster will be given at ESA 2015, Baltimore, MD.

·       Ostling, A., Weinberger, C., and Riley, D. Tests of neutral theory predictions for the Barro Colorado Island tree community informed by regional abundance data. Talk at Biodiversity in a Changing World conference at the Center for Mathematical Research, University of Montreal, Canada, 2013.

·       Ostling, A, Weinberger, C., and Riley, D. Tests of neutral theory predictions for the Barro Colorado Island tree community informed by regional abundance data. Talk at ESA 2013, Minneapolis, MN.