GSA Logo Media Contact:
Chloe Poston, Ph.D.
GSA Policy and Communications Manager


For Immediate Release

Monday, December 14, 2015


Early-career scientists selected to serve on the Genetics Society of America Board and Committees
Graduate students & postdocs serve as leaders in genetics community


BETHESDA, MD -- The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to announce the selection of nine new Trainee Representatives who will serve on the GSA Board of Directors and the Society's programmatic committees.


The GSA Trainee Representative program began in 2013 as a way to engage students and postdocs directly in the Society leadership and offer an opportunity for the voices and perspective of early-career scientists to be heard at the Board level.


"It's been great to see the way that the trainee reps have brought great ideas and new energy to the GSA leadership these past few years," said GSA Executive Director Adam P. Fagen, PhD. "These students and postdocs are helping to strengthen the Society's longstanding commitment to our early career members, who make up a growing percentage of our membership."


Trainee representatives were selected through a competitive application process based on demonstrated leadership roles, volunteer service, and letters of recommendation. These new representatives will hold two-year terms beginning January 1, 2016.


GSA's newest Trainee Representatives

Heath Blackmon
Board of Directors

Heath Blackmon, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior

University of Minnesota


Heath Blackmon
Conferences Committee

Amanda L. Zacharias, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Genetics

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania


Heath Blackmon
Education Committee

Haifa Alhadyian

Graduate Student

Department of Molecular Biosciences

University of Kansas

Heath Blackmon
Education Committee

Courtney Scerbak

Graduate Student

Department of Biology & Wildlife and Institute of Arctic Biology

University of Alaska Fairbanks


Heath Blackmon
Membership Committee

Alison Gerken, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

University of Florida


Heath Blackmon
Mentoring & Professional Development Committee

Delbert A. Green II, PhD

NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology

Department of Ecology & Evolution
University of Chicago


Heath Blackmon
Mentoring & Professional Development Committee

Faten A. Taki

Graduate Student

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences

East Carolina University


Heath Blackmon
Publications Committee

Aleeza C. Gerstein, PhD

CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

University of Minnesota


Thomas Clements
Public Policy Committee

Thomas P. Clements

Graduate Student

Program in Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Rice University


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About the Genetics Society of America (GSA)

Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,500 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit

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