Karolina Fučíková, Ph.D.
I obtained a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut in December 2011, and continued working at UConn as a postdoc, focusing on research on green algal systematics and evolution. Before coming to UConn I was a master’s student at John Carroll University, a catholic liberal arts school in Ohio. My research at JCU focused on algal species surveys in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park – often involving collection of samples from waterfalls (indeed, thesis projects don’t get much better than that).
As an undergraduate I got involved in research in my second semester in college. My bachelor’s thesis entailed identifying species from samples collected on Roraima Tepui, a table mountain in Venezuela (sadly, I did not get to collect them myself). I fell in love with all the tiny and bizarrely shaped algae I saw, and they became a life-long passion for me. Throughout my studies I was blessed with several fantastic advisors and mentors who continue to provide me with inspiration, encouragement and guidance to this day. I strive to ‘pay it forward’ and hope to make a similar impact on my students’ lives.
Outside of academia I enjoy endurance sports – I have completed 18 marathons, about as many half-marathons, a variety of shorter races and even some triathlons. I’ve served as pace leader for the Adirondack Marathon three times and always finished on time (4:45, 4:00 and 4:15 pace groups, respectively). My personal marathon best is 3:23:22 at the IMS Arizona Marathon 2012, where I placed as 5th overall female. On the half-marathon distance my PR is 1:32:14. I am also an enthusiastic (but not always successful) cook, baker, and homebrewer.