Photo of Monica Hernandez

Hard-working, Responsible, Trustworthy

NSF Bridge to the Doctorate

I am originally from Pomona, CA. I went to UCLA where I majored in biology and received my bachelor’s degree in science in 2012. I graduated Cum Laude with departmental honors. I am now a fourth year graduate student at UC Berkeley where I plan to receive my Ph.D in plant biology by the end of 2017. I am a member of Dr. Steven Lindow’s lab where I conduct research on on Pseudomonas syringae B728a, which is a bacterium that infects bean plants. The aims of my research are to learn more about how this bacterium regulates the production of biosurfactant, a substance that aids the bacterium in surviving on a leaf surface. I also plan to further look into the benefits of producing biosurfactant such as testing if this aids the bacterium by making it easier for it to acquire water and nutrients on the leaf surface. While at UC Berkeley I have received two National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mentions, the Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship, and the Chancellor’s Fellowship for Graduate Study. During my time as a graduate student I have been a Graduate Student Instructor for Biology 1A and a plant molecular genetics course. I have also volunteered to help with a science program for Girl Scouts and twice I was a speaker on a panel for Graduate Student Diversity Day where I talked about graduate school with prospective graduate students from backgrounds that are usually underrepresented in the sciences. Outside hobbies of mine include playing the flute, crocheting, reading, hiking, watching movies, and playing board games.

I am doing research in Dr. Steven Lindow’s lab in the Plant and Microbial Biology department. The title of my research project is “Biological roles and regulation of biosurfactants produced by the plant-colonizing bacterium
 Pseudomonas syringae B728a.”


“NERDS has enabled me to meet other graduate students in different fields. It has also helped my networking opportunities by aiding me in developing my LinkedIn profile. Furthermore, the check-ins with advisors in the program has helped me make sure that I am on track with my graduate studies.”

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