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USF IB Biology Graduate Student Organization (BGSO)

2018-2019 Officers

The purpose of the Biology Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) is to serve as the official representative body of the biology graduate students before the university, provide a forum for discussion of issues and dissemination of information relevant to biology graduate students, and organize, promote, and conduct activities beneficial to biology graduate student life. The faculty advisor of BGSO is KT Scott.

BGSO has a Facebook page where you can keep up with graduate student events in the Department.

Jessica Balerna

Jessica Balerna: President 2019.

Jessica graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science with minors in anthropology and statistics from American University in 2017 and subsequently joined the Lewis Lab at USF to pursue a PhD studying wetland ecohydrology. Previously, vice president of BGSO, Jessica looks forward to another year of collaborating with IB department faculty and staff as well as the IB iNaturalist group to host fun events for IB graduate students. If you’d like to join, visit our BullSync page or contact us at with any questions!


Joshua Boling

Joshua Boling: Vice President

Josh is working in Ecological Epigenetics. He is applying Genomics and Epigenomic tools in marine systems. Specifically, he is interested in how corals are going to survive climate change.


Taylor Kelsay

Taylor Kelsay: Treasurer

Taylor graduated with a B.S. in Integrative Animal Biology from USF Tampa and is now pursuing a master's degree in the Deban lab. Taylor studies the effects of temperature on salamander swimming performance. In his free time, Taylor enjoys herping with everyone and anyone while also balancing the BGSO annual budget. He looks forward to discussing science and fiscal responsibility with incoming BGSO members!

Chris Grissett

Chris Grissett: Secretary

Chris graduated with a B.S. in Biology from St. Petersburg College and an M.S. in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University. He has been an instructor for various colleges/institutions for the past seven years and has conducted research with manatees for his masters and as a freelance contractor. He joined the Prevost Lab for Biology Education Research in August 2017 to pursue a PhD studying how students understand and learn food web dynamics. Chris looks forward to collaborating with the graduate students and IB faculty and staff to host integrative events for the IB graduate students that are both fun and leisurely as well as collaborate in research.