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CCNY Biologist Ana Carnaval Champions Women in Science

CCNY biology Professor Ana Carnaval [center] with three of her researchers on field trip in southern Brazil. From left: PhD student Amanda Schweitzer, graduate student Danielle Rivera and Maria Strangas, also a PhD candidate.

In a field often dominated by men, City College of New York biologist Dr. Ana Carnaval’s lab at CCNY’s Harlem campus breaks the mold. During her four years at CCNY, she has mentored 21 women at different career stages – from college freshmen to international post doctorates. Up to 73 % of the researchers associated with her lab are female. 

The assistant professor will be the third speaker in City College’s “Presidential Conversations: Activism, Scholarship, and Engagement” series Thursday, February 5, 4 – 5: 30 p.m. in Shepard 250 at CCNY. Her topic will be “Integrating Biology and Environmental Sciences to Understand Biodiversity Patterns in the Tropics.”  

Professor Carnaval’s work exemplifies the themes of the “Presidential Conversations” series launched last fall. She has sought and engaged female researchers in her work and they have included undergraduates, Master’s and Ph.D. students, and postdoctoral fellows.  

Her CCNY team was instrumental in helping her develop a new biodiversity metric called “phylogeographic endemism” that involved field work in Brazil and molecular data analyses at CCNY. The metric quantifies the degree to which the genetic variation within species is restricted in geographical space. 

In addition, Professor Carnaval has jumpstarted “CCNYWinS,” a women in science group open to faculty, staff and students. They have been meeting once every month since last summer in the biology department.

“We discuss issues women face in science and academia, including how to juggle family and a career. Through new initiatives on campus, we want to help increase the number of women in science fields at CCNY and beyond,” she said. 

“Presidential Conversations” feature City College faculty members in conversation with CCNY President Lisa S. Coico and audience members about scholarship. 

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.



Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580