My name is Nia Symone Walker, and I am a 4th year PhD Candidate at Stanford University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Palumbi, based at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, CA.
I am generally interested in better understanding how cnidarians (e.g. corals, sea anemones, and jellyfish) are able to function under normal and high stress conditions. Currently, I am primarily using genomics, genetics, and physiology techniques and applications to study climate change resilience in coral reefs. My current research focus is on not just identifying, but also challenging, what makes "strong" corals by studying both coral thermal resistance and recovery.
As a black woman in STEM, I am committed furthering access to higher education and all levels of academia for individuals from diverse and underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds. Academia should be accessible to all whom have the curiosity to explore it. Knowledge should be open to all. Beyond this, the only prerequisite to pursuing anything should be a spark to get started.
*I am also a dog mom to an adorable (and anxious) chiweenie named Dobby. I also write poetry and prose, draw and paint, play the violin (in the past with the Palo Alto Philharmonic, though currently this is on pause due to the pandemic), and enjoy hiking.