Jackson, New Jersey
College:College of Sciences
Degree Program:Integrative and Conservation Biology PhD, Conservation Biology Track
Research Focus:Modeling the impacts of prescribed fires on treefrogs populations.
Ian Biazzo has always been passionate about animals, especially the creepy-crawly variety. After finishing his undergraduate degrees in Biology and Mathematics at Rutgers University, Ian took time off from his studies and became a volunteer firefighter. He then realized that he could combine his passion for wildlife and fire skills to study fire ecology.
“I study nature, and nature is running its own experiment, but my research captures only a snapshot of that bigger picture,” he says.
Ian graduated from UCF with his PhD in Conservation Biology in 2023. His dissertation focused on modeling the impacts of prescribed fires on treefrogs populations; his work is one of the first to study U.S. treefrogs in canopies and connect changes to the timing of fires. His research was part of a docuseries about conservation perspectives in Florida called “Tales of Sunshine.” Additionally, he worked alongside colleagues to publish research on plant demography and retention of STEM transfer students.
Ian chose to attend UCF for the proximity to diverse natural lands and the opportunity to work with the amazing faculty at the university. He credits his advisor and friend, Dr. Pedro Quintana-Ascencio, with being a catalyst for his personal and academic growth while working with him to improve his scientific skills. He is extremely grateful to Dr. John Fauth, Dr. Ken Fedorka, Dr. Kim Schneider, and Dr. Ken Teter for helping him succeed and providing him with impactful opportunities.
In addition, to his academic pursuits, Ian was highly involved in the UCF community, serving on various councils and associations, including the President’s Student Advisory Council, the Graduate Student Advisory Council, and the Biology Graduate Student Association. He describes how programs like the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Unity Star programs, Transfer-student Research and Integration Program, Knights for Animal Rights, Outdoor Adventure Program, and Rock-Climbing Club have shaped his enriching university experience.
Due to his commitment to the community and devotion to leading by example, Ian was inducted into the Order of Pegasus in 2022, one of the highest honors a UCF student can receive. He is highly motivated to do good and contribute to society’s understanding of the natural world. “I strive to be more than just a scientist and researcher,” he says. “I want to be a leader, mentor, and advocate.”
In the future, Ian aims to pursue postdoctoral studies, become an agency researcher, or take on a land manager position. He plans to use his status to help others whenever possible.
- 2022 Order of Pegasus inductee
- President’s Student Advisory Council member
- Biology Graduate Student Association member
- Research featured in docuseries
- Avid rock-climber, caver, birder, and vegan
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