Katie attends the Evolutionary Biology Workshop in Guarda, Switzerland

All the students and instructors of Guarda 2018

I was able to attend the week-long Evolutionary Biology Workshop (located in Guarda, Switzerland) this past June!  What a learning opportunity. The Guarda Workshop is a one-of-a-kind scientific retreat for early-stage graduate students.  You spend a week surrounded by people at a similar stage in their scientific career, and you band together to think deeply (and write quickly) about questions in evolutionary biology.  You are guided by four leading evolutionary biologists, and through a combination of high-pressure group work and late night discussions with professors you develop a stronger scientific identity and a network of caring and intelligent peers.  But don’t take my word for it!  If you or someone you know is a 1st- or 2nd-year graduate student in evolutionary biology, check it outOne significant downside: The workshop does not offer financial support of any kind, so start figuring out finances early if you plan to apply.

I’ve included some of my own cell phone photography below for anyone curious about the Guarda experience.


The people of Guarda put a lot of effort into preserving traditional architecture in their village. With limited internet and phone service, Guarda is a retreat away from the bustle and distraction of daily life.


Artifacts of traditional Swiss living occupied many of the flats in the village. This is the ground level of one such flat where my colleagues and I completed our research proposal.


The wildflowers were spectacular.  Group hikes were a daily occurrence, and we had one day off during the week to strike out on any kind of extended exploration we wanted.


A panorama overlooking Guarda and the Alps.



If you’re thinking of applying but would like to know more about this American’s experience in Guarda, feel free to contact me!