Erika Saenz - Project Coordinator
Erika Saenz is a senior majoring in Biology at Texas A&M International University with a minor in Environmental Science. Born and raised in Laredo, she grew up hearing her father speak of his childhood in El Azteca. Every weekend his mother, sister and he would go down to Zacate Creek, do laundry, swim, and enjoy the outdoors. Having experienced the tremendous growth that Laredo has had in the past 30 years and acknowledging the uniqueness and rich history of this city, Erika is extremely proud of her community and eager to give back. Devoted wife and mother of two young daughters, she is deeply interested in being an integral part of the efforts being made to remediate the Rio Grande. Her ultimate goal would be to see Laredo’s citizens revive the weekend ritual of going down to the river.
Previously, she worked as an undergraduate student under the supervision of Dr. James Cohen. She worked for Dr. Cohen from February 2012 until his departure in May 2014.
In his lab, she assisted in botanical work which included classifying and measuring plant specimens, histology, and genetics work involving extremophilic bacteria. In 2014, she was one of the winners in the Lamar Bruni Vergara & Guillermo Benavides Z. Academic Conference at TAMIU. Her undergraduate poster entitled: “A Broad-Scale Phylogeny of Extremophilic Bacteria” earned 3rd place in the Biology and Chemistry category.