Biology Community Spotlight: Michelle Liberton

“I am from St. Louis; I live in Northern Jefferson County about 20 miles from the University. I live on a property that has been in my family since the late 1800s in an old farmhouse that was built by my great-grandparents. At that time, when my great-grandparents were living there it was a very rural area, which is not the case anymore. We are surrounded by housing developments. There is a lot of developmental pressure on us, but we are not selling. But for my ancestors, it was pretty isolating so they had to be very independent and self-reliant. If they needed or wanted something, they had to figure it out on their own. They spent the whole year getting ready for winter. Winter is harsh. To prepare for it, they chopped wood for heating and canned their vegetables. My grandparents taught me that everything you have comes from the land. From them, I developed this strong mindset that we have to take care of our solar powered planet that gives us the food we eat. And we have to figure out how to make it provide for all of us – all of the billions of us that are around now.”

Michelle Liberton, research scientist in the Pakrasi lab