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Biology: Alumni Profiles

Meet Chelsea Korfel

While at UD, Chelsea Korfel caught the Marianist spirit and has integrated it into her life ever since.

Since graduating in 2006 with bachelors’ degrees in environmental biology and environmental geology, Korfel has moved on to The Ohio State University. She received a master’s from OSU in natural resources in 2007 and is now working on a doctorate in evolution, ecology and organismal biology. Though she has physically left UD, she strives to embody the character she found during her undergraduate years.

"I saw the Marianist spirit as an influence in the way my professors taught and interacted with students," Korfel said. "Since I left UD, I’ve realized that the biology department there has a really unique and amazing group of scientists who aren't afraid to let their religion guide them in the classroom. I am grateful for the balance of nurture and pushing me to my limits that these professors provided, and wouldn't be in graduate school today without it."

Korfel became a lay Marianist before leaving UD and hopes that commitment will continue to guide her in the future. At OSU, she is currently researching a critically endangered species of harlequin frog and the high altitude dynamics of chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease that is suspected to have impacted amphibian populations worldwide. Some of Korfel’s research has been done in Ecuador, where she worked with a Marianist brother, Giovanni Onore. She was introduced to Onore through Kelly Williams, a UD biology professor. Korfel also joined Williams for part of the Spring Breakout he led in March 2010.

"I met up with the group, and enjoyed a day of interacting with the students," she said. "I think it is amazing, and unique to UD, that a professor would continue to take interest in me and be willing to help my research project succeed even after I have graduated."


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