Meet Our Team

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jessica Sowa

Dr. Sowa is an Assistant Professor of Biology at West Chester University and the primary investigator and overall manager for Nematode Hunters. She has been doing research with nematodes for over 10 years. In addition to her teaching and research work, Dr. Sowa enjoys reading, hiking, and attempting to keep various plants alive.

Project Manager: Katherine Przeworski

Katherine developed the Nematode Hunters lesson plans and classroom activities. She will also be overseeing the Nematode Hunters testing team and analyzing survey responses to see how Nematode Hunters can become better.

Katherine will be graduating with an M.S. in Biology in December 2021. She is going on her  10th year teaching high school biology, so she sought this degree to ensure that her teaching reflects the most current understandings of biological science. She also serves as science fair coordinator for her current school and is passionate about supporting student research at the K-12 level. 

Social Media Manager: Erin Sherman

Erin Sherman is responsible for running the Nematode Hunters social media accounts, maintaining the website and updating with the latest results, and publishing the quarterly newsletter.

Erin Sherman is a junior at West Chester University with a major in Marketing. She hopes to pursue Social Media Marketing post graduation. She is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma at WCU and holds the Public Relations position. She enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring new places, and decorating her house with funky decor. 

Nematode Testing Team: Sarah Lancaster, India Cannon, and Noni Diarra

The Nematode testing team are responsible for indexing nematodes received from participating schools, growing them in the lab, and testing them to see if they carry any new nematode viruses.

Sarah Lancaster is a junior year at West Chester University. She is an Integrative Biology major who loves to travel and enjoys spending time outdoors. She volunteers in the emergency room department at Chester County Hospital. After college she hopes to go into medical school and pursue Dermatology.

India Cannon is a junior at West Chester University. She is majoring in Biology with a Cellular and Molecular concentration with a minor in Elementary Education. She hopes to pursue a medical degree and become a Pediatric Geneticist. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, and exploring new cities. Fun fact: India can wiggle her ears!

Noni Diarra is a 4th year at West Chester University. She majors in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. After graduation she hopes to attend medical school to pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Fun Fact: Noni is a technically trained dancer and have been dancing since she was 3 years old.

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