LAUREN TARANOW is a Ph.D. student in the FLIES Facility. She was born and raised in Oakland, California. She received her Bachelor’s in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she spent four years researching fungal community interactions with native Texas grasses. She then attended Boston University School of Medicine, where she received her Master’s degree in biomedical forensic science with a focus in DNA analysis (Thesis: Exploring the Sources of Peak Height Reduction During Low-Template, Compromised DNA Data Analysis). Lauren’s doctoral research will explore the effects of nutrient surges from waste of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, on soil arthropod and fungal communities.