Summer Blanco

Plant Biology
University of Georgia

Summer Blanco is a 2nd year PhD student in the Plant Biology department at the University of Georgia. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA, in 2020. After completing their degree, Summer took a position in the Success in Graduate Education (SIGUE) program at Michigan State University as a post-baccalaureate research assistant. They are now a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a UGA Presidential Fellow. Summer’s current research aims to use citizen science & computational methods to understand how flower color variation has evolved in the plant genus, Geranium.

During their undergraduate degree program, Summer participated in several university and national fellowships (CSU-LSAMP, NIH-RISE, CPP-Achieve) that aim to increase the capacity of students from groups historically excluded in STEM to complete PhD degrees. Participation in these programs was the catalyst for Summer’s advocacy work. Summer currently leads diversity recruitment events for their graduate program and coordinates science cafés in their local community.

Outside of their educational pursuits, Summer loves going to karaoke, roller skating, and a good oat milk latte!