Alumni Notes

Our alumni help to define who we are as an institution and as a Biology program. We encourage, and are strengthened by, ongoing interactions between our alumni, our current students, and the Biology Department.

Alumni Participate in Graduate School Information Session

Five recent alumni of Bates provided first hand accounts of their educational pathways and experiences in graduate programs. The participants were Abigail Ames, Gwen Muscato, Jake Henderson, Min Tham Phan, and Kathleen Morrill. You can watch the Oct 8, 2020 session here: PLAY SESSION 


Andrew Bernard ’11, Biology
Andrew has been working since Jan 2012 as a research photographer on a year-long project with the Kibale Chimpanzee Project in Kibale National Park, Uganda ( Andrew plays a key role in a new study that uses a noninvasive photographic technique to estimate the age at which infant chimpanzees get their first molar teeth. This information has important implications for understanding the interaction between dental development, life history, and ecology in apes and during the course of human evolution.

NOTE: Andrew is now a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan and conducts research on primates in Indonesia.

 Andrew Bernard photographs a chimpanzee in Kibale National Park, Uganda.

Andrew Bernard photographs a chimpanzee in Kibale National Park, Uganda.


Kaitlin Wellens ’11
Field Research Assistant, Palenque, Mexico

Kaitlin Wellens ’11 working as a research assistant studying howler monkeys in Palenque, Mexico.

I am currently working with black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in the National Park in Palenque, Mexico, as a research assistant for Dr. Sarie Van Belle and Dr. Alejandro Estrada.  The research is focused on the social and genetic factors that influence the individual monkeys participation in howling bouts, travel bouts and group defense.  We take scan samples on all the individuals and record data on travelling and howling bouts as they occur.  I also have had the opportunity to work with a masters student on her project comparing the differences in mammal populations in the national park with the populations in the fragments surrounding the park.   And of course I get to practice my Spanish! I really love the work so far and feel really lucky to be able to call the rainforest my office.  It is such an amazing place and the monkeys are always a good source of entertainment and obviously all of this is a great learning experience for future field work and studies.

Note:  Kaitlin has gone on to complete a PhD in Biological Anthropology-Primatology at George Washington University and presently is a Post Doctoral Fellow in Science Education.

Angela Pizzo ’97, Nurse Practitioner,
Diabetes Center, Mercy Hospital, Portland, ME

Angela Pizzo ’97 NP recently visited with students Karen Palin’s Bio 479 Seminar and Research course “Biology in the Community” to talk about her work with the local Somali population at the Diabetes Center at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. Angela spent two years after graduating working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for a rheumatology lab at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and then completed a Masters in Nursing, also at Mass Gen, to become a Nurse Practitioner. Her current work is divided between outpatient education (nutrition, exercise, and new technology awareness) and direct patient care.

Angela Pizzo '97

Angela Pizzo ’97

Angela discusses her work with diabetes in the Portland Somali population with Karen Palin’s Seminar and Research class (Bio 479)

Jason Rafferty ’05, Harvard Medical School (’12)
Harvard Human Development and Psychology (HDP) Program ’11

Jason Rafferty ’05.

Jason Rafferty ’05 Wins Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award From Harvard University Graduate School of Education

“A future pediatrician, New Hampshire-native Jason Rafferty took this year at the Ed School in order to enhance his understanding of child psychology. In particular, Rafferty wanted to learn more about the role of schools in promoting healthy development and building relationships with teachers, parents, counselors, and school administration.”

NOTE: Jason is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and is a clinical pediatrician and psychiatrist.