Robert Nguyen Ulrich
Rob Ulrich (they/he) is a Biogeochemistry Ph.D. student at UCLA who researches how living things make their hard parts. More specifically, they are interested in developing and using novel geochemical tracers (e.g., trace elements, “clumped” isotopes) to interrogate the strategies used by organisms to make their biominerals. Beyond graduate school, Rob is also the Associate Director of the Reclaiming STEM Institute, Co-Founder of Queer & Trans in STEM (fka Queers in STEM), a writing consultant, and a writer. Their book (“The Hard Parts of Life: Windows to the Past; Keys to the Future) about biominerals and their applications is currently up for pre-sale and is going to be published this Winter. In 2019, Rob received the UCLA Curtis Shepard LGBT Leadership award for their leadership and outreach to the LGBTQ+ community at UCLA and abroad, and under their leadership, Queer & Trans in STEM won the UCLA Organization of the Year award. For their research and advocacy, Rob currently holds fellowships with the National Science Foundation and the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, and they have been invited to speak on the popular podcasts, including Ologies, Talk Nerdy, ExoLore, and at meetings for the American Geophysical Union, National Organization of Gay & Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, the Geologic Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences. To avoid answering the question “What do you want to do after your Ph.D.?”, they hide in their apartment and cook and bake, or outside by hiking and going to the beach.