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Christine Marizzi #sciony

By Nica Rabinowitz

I’ve done science my whole life even if it wasn’t called science…At 14 or 15 I learned about botany. My dad was a bio teacher, he knew every plant. My grandmother taught me a lot about the herbs she was growing in her garden. I had my first herbarium at home.

You can find science in everything. DNA barcoding proved to an be ideal model for teaching students science. There is the field work aspect, it gets students out of classroom. There is the chemistry and bioinformatics part which bridges ecology and chemistry. It’s the whole package. It’s a really great way to bridge science and society. At the DNA Learning Center we specialize in taking the cutting edge and making it scalable and replicable. Very often students are working on inspiring projects that involve really creative samples. And because nobody has done this research before, the students are figuring out novelties.

Christine Marizzi, PhD grew up in rural Austria. She spent her childhood in the wilderness amongst the alpine flora and fauna, routinely collected plants for her herbarium, studying their anatomy by drawing detailed illustrations. Torn between science and a more creative major, Christine ultimately moved to Vienna to study biology. At first she found her science classes uninspiring – seizing every chance to gain experience in field work – in the Rainforest of Costa Rica or a study to detect pollinators for endemic orchid species in Crete. The compelling logic of genetics sparked her interest. Graduating from the University of Vienna with a Master of Sciences degree in microbiology and genetics she continued her PhD thesis at the University of Vienna, where she worked with a unique stem-cell mutant of the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana. Christine Marizzi’s career as an educator began at the Vienna Open Lab leading her down a path of science communication. For several years she developed and coordinated soap-making workshops that used approachable topics to explore biochemistry and biotechnology. As an educator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center and manager of the Urban Barcode Project, Christine teaches comprehensive courses in genetics and assists students and teachers in solving challenging questions. She enjoys working closely with world-class scientists and being part of a truly inspiring team.

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