Valerie Lavenburg is a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is majoring in Integrative Biology, hoping to emphasize in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Before joining the Specht Lab, she was an undergraduate researcher in the Somerville Lab at the Energy Biosciences Institute. She is currently working with postdocs Chodon Sass and Will Illes on a project on fossil calibrated Zingiberales phylogeny. Valerie is also an athlete on the Cal Women's Rugby team and likes to exercise and cook on her free time.