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Drea Darby

Affiliations and Roles

Ph.D. Candidate, Entomology

Affirming Pronouns: she/her/they

Graduate Mentor

Hi my name is Drea Darby, and I am a PhD Candidate in the Field of Entomology. I study the effects of diet, specifically high sugar diets, on infection dynamics in the fruit fly model Drosophila melanogaster. I consider myself an insect physiologist with an emphasis in studying host-microbe interactions in context of insects and their natural pathogens.

Here at Cornell, I have been involved in several organizations in support of students from historically excluded and marginalized backgrounds. I served for three years on the Executive Board of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA), and I most recently served as the president. I have helped organize networking mixers and research symposia for the Black Graduate Student community. I also served as a co-leader for the Diversity Preview Weekend now known as Consider Cornell at the Graduate School. Through this program, we worked to bring students who come from backgrounds historically excluded in our fields of Entomology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Plant Sciences to learn more about graduate school and help prepare them for competitive grad school apps. I even developed a course on how to navigate and manage microaggressions during interview weekends for this event.

I have also developed a course ENTO 4040 which discusses the history of racism, bias, and exclusion in STEM and how it impacts how we operate today. This course has filled a gap that is often left out of STEM education where students of science do not have open discussion on science ethics and how our society shapes how we do science.

In my free time, I love gardening and being a plant mom. I also cosplay and watch anime and manga. So I'm here to talk all things anime and science with you!