Brittany L. Slabach is a PhD candidate from the University of Kentucky who received her B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and M.S. in Biology from Tufts. She has served as a mentor to many young women in STEM as a teaching assistant for Biology labs and the STEMCats program while working on her impressive research in population dynamics and social structures of ungulates. One of Brittany’s students said “she made the biggest difference in my becoming comfortable with research my first semester…I probably would have switched majors if not for her.” Brittany credits her advisor, Dr. John G.T. Anderson, in helping shape her views of what a mentor should be and how to be question, not species, driven in research.
Brittany said, growing up, everyone expected her to go to Vet school since that was what women who liked animals were expected to do. But, she liked “gallivanting out in the woods” and is now one of the most impressive, and one of the only female, graduate students in her field. If she could give any piece of advice to other women in STEM, it would be to “do the thing you thought you would never do…you will learn from it.” If you want, “live in a grass hut in the middle of the jungle.” I think everyone can agree, Brittany Slabach has an attitude we all wish we could have when it comes to our careers: “don’t get complacent, step back, and enjoy.”