Rachel Porter – 2024 Wonderfest Science Envoy

Born and raised in rural Texas, Rachel Porter is deeply inspired by the natural environment and motivated by efforts to preserve it. Since starting in research, she has studied diverse microbes, from fungi that eat plastic and keep track of time, to bacteria that live on plants and inside people. Rachel is currently pursuing a PhD in Biophysics at Stanford, where she is exploring how complex bacterial communities interact across surfaces. She hopes to focus on environmentally critical microbial communities that play essential roles in nutrient cycling. Apart from research, Rachel enjoys hiking, baking, rock climbing, and reading.