Winthrop University: Eagle STEM Scholars Program - Stahl, Leigha

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Scholar Experience

Scholar Profile

Name: Leigha Stahl

Major: Biology

Stahl, LeighaMy name is Leigha Stahl, and I am a PhD Biology candidate at The University of Alabama. I graduated from Winthrop in 2017 with a BS in Biology with Honors and Minors in Chemistry and Psychology.  I originally wanted to pursue a medical degree but decided research was the better route for me after having the opportunity to research topics in environmental microbiology with amazing mentors. Currently, I am researching the prevalence of the "brain-eating" amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, in Alabama bodies of water. I am also investigating antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from raptor fecal samples to understand patterns of antibiotic resistance in birds.  Although seemingly disparate, my research is tied together by the One Health Concept, which recognizes the interconnected nature of human, animal, and environmental health.  When I am not researching, I enjoy hiking arojund state parks, exploring nature with iNaturalist, painting different animal species, and making earrings.

When I reflect on my Winthrop experience, Eagle STEM is at the forefront of my memories. Through this unique program, I  was able to cultivate meaningful friendships and meet like-minded students.  Just as importantly, I had the opportunity to interact with my professors who pushed me to excel academically and were always present to offer mentorship and academic support.  They believed in me when I didn't, and I am extremely grateful.  Through the Eagle STEM program's support, I also became a McNair Scholar, student leader, and more confident researcher. Even now as a graduate student, I am constantly learning and using the skills I developed from this program.  The Eagle STEM program has been instrumental to my success! If you have questions about my experience or path to research, please contact me at and Roll Tide!

Last Updated: 4/29/20