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Two biology majors to present at Simpson University research symposium

Simpson undergraduates Julianna Gilson and Rachel Last have been friends since sophomore year and both are biology majors that paired up to research the Iron Mountain Mine in Redding for Simpson University Research Symposium.

High school students, college students, and professors put their research to the test on Wednesday at the 8th Annual Research Symposium at Simpson University.

Simpson undergraduates Julianna Gilson and Rachel Last have been friends since sophomore year and both are biology majors that paired up to research the Iron Mountain Mine in Redding.

"We are looking to decrease the acid in the mine by simulating the bacteria who metabolism, breathes in that sulfuric acid and then breathes out," said Julianna.

They were just one of the presentations at the research symposium. Julianna and Rachel say they got into biology because it was something they found interest and joy in.

"We just always loved it. [In] high school, I took regular biology and was really excited about it and took the AP course," said Rachel.

"I was actually pre-nursing, and then I kind of found it boring, I wanted to learn more about the depth of life," said Julianna.

Biology professor Brian Hooker said he's amazed at his students, especially Julianna and Rachel.

"I can't stop smiling. I'm so excited for them to present their work," said Professor Hooker.

Professor Hooker also explained that nine of his undergraduate students are all women, all graduating with a degree in biology.

"This year we have nine graduates with a bachelors in science and biology, all nine students are women," said Professor Hooker.

Julianna and Rachel said for women aspiring to go into any field, it doesn't matter your gender is.

"Your vocation doesn't define your femininity, you are feminine you are a woman because you are a woman and whatever that looks like on you, you rock it," said Julianna.

For those who think women can't do science, Julianna asked "who do you think you are?"

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