Ilexis Chu-Jacoby

Ilexis is a Taiwanese, Salvadorian, German-Jewish, Bah feminist, artist, musician, plant caretaker, first generation college student, and soil chemistry researcher. She is majoring in Molecular Environmental Biology, and minoring in Music. She grew up in Fresno, CA with her loving parents and five siblings. The prominent agricultural scene in the San Joaquin Valley has largely influenced her interest in plants, soil, ecology, and environment. Within her field, she strives to be cognizant of the social ramifications that construct the esoteric study of environmental sciences. She is passionate about integrating a critical race and gender framework into her personal and scientific lens and methods of research.
For the past year and a half, Ilexis has done mainly soil microbiology and biogeochemistry lab work as an undergraduate research assistant under professor Mary Firestone. She also has research experience in plant and algae genetics. Currently, she is working in the Firestone Lab on an independent research project in soil chemistry, in which she will investigate carbon mineral associations in soil. She explains, Some of the oldest stabilized carbon known is bound to soil minerals. I hope that understanding these carbon mineral bonds may provide a piece of the knowledge we need to explore methods to optimize carbon sequestration in soils, thus reducing atmospheric CO2 levels, and give us a chance in combating climate change.