Ana Garcia Vedrenne

Ana Garcia Vedrenne

2018 IRACDA Cohort

Current Position:

Assistant Professor at UC Irvine (Starting Summer 2022)


I got my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I first came to California as part of an Education Abroad Program- little did I know that the Parasitology class I signed up for would forever change the way I thought about parasites. I returned to pursue my PhD in the Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology Department at UC Santa Barbara. My doctoral research examined the social organization of trematode parasites in their snail hosts (turns out some species have a non-reproductive soldier caste that defend the parasite colony from invaders!). While at UCSB, I also obtained an MA in Applied Statistics and a Certificate in College and University Teaching. Now, as a postdoc in Dr. Robert Wayne’s lab at UCLA, I use environmental DNA signatures to identify and quantify parasite and pathogen biodiversity in California ecosystems. I am also developing curriculum for the new Environmental DNA for Science Investigation and Education Program. I love dancing and being outdoors.

I hope to become a professor at a primarily undergraduate institution. I believe in promoting student engagement through active learning and in giving students authentic experiences in scientific inquiry. As teacher and mentor, my role is not to take students by the hand on their journey, but to motivate, support, and challenge them while they create their own adventure.