Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Karlyn Beer

Photo of Karlyn Beer

Molecular & Cellular Biology


2013 Fellows

Travel Locations: Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Turkey

Karlyn plans to travel by bicycle through Central and South America, Turkey, and parts of southeast Asia, exploring how people and cultures interact with the living world around them.  Through the lenses of dwindling reptile and amphibian diversity and bicycle transportation, she hopes to observe how human activity feeds back on itself around the world to influence animal, environmental, and our own health.  Although herpetology and bicycles are important parts of her life, this trip will connect her with people who experience these same animals and transportation in new and different ways.

Alumni Reflections

How did the Bonderman impact your life?

“So many ways! It has changed the way I understand and interpret world news stories, especially from places where I have been. It has unlocked professional opportunities – I was a frontline epidemiologist in the West Africa Ebola epidemic and was deployed to remote Liberia because leadership knew that because of my solo travels by bicycle, I could operate effectively in a severely resource limited setting. Normally those posts are reserved for returned peace corps volunteers.”

What are you doing now?

“My Bonderman experience has set the tone for my life and work – open minded adventure. I went on to become a frontline disease detective at CDC working in global and domestic public health, and have taken career risks including joining a seed stage tech startup. I’m now a technical advisor at a new US health innovation agency within health and human services, ARPA-H.”