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Mya Breitbart: Decoding Marine Mysteries With “The Virus Hunter”

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Did you know USFCMS has its own virus hunter? Get to know Professor Mya Breitbart, a vigorous champion of encouraging young women to pursue science by reading this story in AAAS.

Reported by Writer for AAAS
Mya Breitbart, Professor of Biological Oceanography, never forgets how pivotal the hands-on experience she got through Girl Scout outings was to launching her career,  from watching sea turtle eggs hatch to working on her first research cruise on the Great Lakes.

When she is not in her lab at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science in Tampa, she is reaching out to girls who may never have imagined a career in science, with projects that are captivating, creative, and loads of fun.

“We actually took a group out to one of the [Girl Scout] camps, and we had them just turn over logs and collect all the insects that they could find; and we processed these insects to see if we could find any viruses in them,” said Breitbart. They discovered and got to name a cockroach virus, which was pretty fun.”

“I feel like In a lot of ways being a scientist is like being a kid. You are exploring that curiosity,” said Breitbart. 

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