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The Zombie Fungus Foray community science initiative is a collaboration with the Hispanic Initiative (HSI) and First Generation Program (FGP) at the University of Central Florida



The Zombie Fungus Foray is all about community involvement. We volunteer frequently to speak to groups of all ages. If you would like to have us come speak to your group, you can email us at

Dr. Charissa de Bekker

Dr. Charissa de Bekker is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida. She earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, before working as a postdoctoral researcher at Pen State University. The de Bekker lab studies how parasites are able to manipulate the behavior of insect hosts. In particular, Dr. de Bekker's work combines behavioral ecology with modern molecular genetics techniques to understand the relationship between Ophiocordyceps that infect many different species of Carpenter ants. Her work has been highlighted across many public platforms, all of which are available to view at her website listed below:

William is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Central Florida. He earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in biology at the University of Louisville, KY. William is a trained molecular geneticist and has worked primarily with the evolution of disease in fungal systems. In addition to his work with fungal pathogens, William also performs pedagogical research to identify best practices for teaching, both at the community and college levels. As a first generation college graduate, William is dedicated to public outreach and values science communication. He has worked with the Skype a Scientist program and frequently volunteers to talk with K-12 classes about general science topics, including GMOs and the importance of vaccination. If you would like to learn more or invite William to speak with your class, you can do so at


Dr. William C. Beckerson

This material is based upon work supported by the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology Program under Grant No. (2109435). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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