Author: Sarah Loftus

Sarah is a first-year graduate student in the University Program in Ecology within the Nicholas School. Her motivation for graduate study comes from a desire to research practical solutions to environmental problems, mostly those caused by the use of fossil fuels. Her chosen research focus is on cultivation of algae for biofuels. Sarah is spending her first academic year in Durham before joining the Johnson Lab out in Beaufort at the Duke University Marine Lab.

Sarah credits high school projects on Jane Goodall and John Muir for initially sparking her environmental passion, which has ultimately decided her academic path. She is a recent graduate of Cornell University (’13) in Ithaca, NY, where she majored in Environmental Engineering within the Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering. Her undergraduate research experiences involved working with syngas-fermenting bacteria in a bioenergy Lab, and with phytoplankton of the St. Lawrence River during a summer REU program. At Cornell, she was involved in various sustainability projects and engaged in a STEM outreach program for middle school girls. Sarah is also highly addicted to distance running, having completed four marathons to date, and treasures the gorges and trails of Ithaca but is excited to explore what Durham has to offer!