Ada Day: Dianella Howarth and Rachel Fish

Ada Lovelace by Sydney Padua

It is Ada Day today, a celebration of women in the Sciences inspired by the life of Ada Lovelace. Ada Day was created to promote women scientist role-models by encouraging people to write testimonies to the women in our lives who inspired us to engage in science. This is surprisingly tough for me.  My childhood immersion in Biology, Geography, and Entomology was due to my father, and I decided to head right into the Liberal Arts anyway! (It’s not his fault.)

The women in science who inspire me are from my generation, however.  They are my college roommate Rachel Fish and my childhood friend Dianella Howarth.  These women sustained an interest in science that led them to doctorates in various topics of Biology from well-regarded universities, and are now happily working away in their fields.  I had the honor of watching my roommate work and struggle and put in endless hours of lab time in the pursuit of her goal, and it was no easy feat.

I cannot find an online source of information on Rachel’s research, but Dianella can be found at St. John’s university, and you can read more about her research at this website.  This is how she describes her work:

My research integrates phylogenetic, molecular evolution, and developmental genetic approaches to understand evolutionary mechanisms underlying plant development.

…There is a joke in here about how it’s all based on her 7th grade science fair project.  Respect to you two (especially from the likes of someone who dropped out of AP Biology). When my daughter thinks about her future, I’ll talk about you.

Leave a comment


  1. Cheers for the shout out to Rachel! I think she’s pretty damn awesome, too.

  2. Justine, do you have any idea where her articles might reside online? I know people usually keep online bibliographies nowadays … Not that my little blog post will make people run out and read biology treatises or anything …


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