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Examining an Endangered Species

Amanda Mancini, who grew up in metropolitan Detroit, discovered Hunter when she was still in Michigan majoring in biology at Kalamazoo College.

“I was interested in genetics and conservation and looking for a graduate school when I learned about Hunter’s biological anthropology program,” she says. “I was impressed by Andrea Baden’s work with Madagascar’s lemurs, and knew that if I chose Hunter, Professor Baden would be my advisor. I also knew that even as an out-of-state student, I’d pay much less at Hunter than at other good schools.”

For academics and affordability, Hunter was indeed a perfect fit. Mancini says the experience “has been more than I could have ever asked for.”

Next fall, as she pursues her doctorate as a National Science Foundation fellow at The CUNY Graduate Center, she’ll continue her work with Professor Baden – based at Hunter and in the field in Madagascar. The Fulbright grant, along with the NSF fellowship, will support her upcoming travels to conduct that research.

Mancini describes Professor Baden as “an amazing advisor who has helped me achieve so much in my research,” as she herself considers a career in academia combining teaching, fieldwork and scholarship. In the meantime, she’s preparing for her next trip to the Malagasy rainforests to collect more genetic samples and behavioral observations of the near-extinct black-and-white ruffed lemur – a species whose diet and dispersal of seeds is key to the survival of the island’s plant life and overall ecosystem.

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