Although Tracy Washburn was raised in the midwest, she's a proud native of California. She returned to the state five years ago after earning a Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame, where she scrutinized and pulverized fruit flies for her thesis research. Continuing to work in laboratories, she studied plant development at the Salk Institute in San Diego and immunology at U.C. Berkeley, where she held postdoctoral fellowships. She happily applied to the UCSC Science Communication Program after realizing that ten years of prodding nature for science was more than enough for her. Now she studies as many scientific research topics as come her way. "I can't imagine a better deal," she says. "While scientists sweat in laboratories to produce interesting results, I get to sit at home in my carpet slippers and write about the best of their work."
Sophie received her bachelors degree at San Diego State University in biology. Trying to stay a step ahead (often times behind) of technology, she went for a second degree in desktop publishing. She always had a passion for art and exploring her creative side, so she set her sites on illustration. Being a part of the Science Communication Program has been one of her greatest joys, and challenges. It is amazing how much you can learn in one year! "It is both exciting and sad to be finishing my college career", she says. "I cannot wait to find what is to come in the future!"