graduate students

Selena Vengco

Master's Student


I grew up in the California Bay Area and I have always been fascinated with plants! I received my Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz in 2019. I conducted my senior thesis with Dr. Laurel Fox using Arctostaphylos pumila to date back the last fire at Fort Ord Natural Reserve. In 2018, I was a REU intern at the Chicago Botanic Garden where I learned my love for conservation and public education. Before this program, I was working for UC Davis on the spread of disease in wine grapes- ask me about viticulture!

I am excited to participate in a program that has the opportunity to be at the crossroads of plant conservation and public education. I am passionate about sharing the wonders of plants with people across different generational groups and socioeconomic classes. The world is ready for more people to start caring about her and I am excited to tell her stories.


I will be working with Erythranthe discolor (Phrymaceae), a narrow California endemic, and what’s driving its flower color polymorphisms.

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