Aaron Mayo’s interest in science was rooted in constant curiosity throughout his childhood. Although his interests were broad, he always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in the scientific field.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in ecology, evolution and animal behavior at Long Island University Post in 2021. He first discovered his love for research during his first year when he received the opportunity to travel to the Negev Desert in Israel. There, he worked under the mentorship of Danilo Russo, PhD, towards investigating the impact of noise pollution on the feeding and drinking behaviors of desert bats. This experience truly sparked his passion, and under the mentorship of Kent Hatch, PhD, Mayo learned many aspects of performing scientific research, including how to utilize stable isotope analysis to answer ecological questions concerning hair turnover rate as well as testing the capabilities of an R package to predict trophic discrimination factors.
Mayo earned his master’s degree in biomedical sciences from the same institution, graduating in May of 2023. In graduate school, Mayo continued his research in the Hatch Lab to investigate the differences between various microbiomes of marine invertebrates across the northern and southern shorelines of Long Island, New York. During the summer of 2022, Mayo attended a fellowship program through Doctors in Italy, where he completed over 100 hours of shadowing medical professionals in the clinical and research sphere in Rome, Italy. His experiences in the lab, his broad biomedical coursework and personal interests galvanized him to pursue a PhD at St. Jude.
Though much of his work revolved around answering questions about ecology, Mayo plans to apply his background in stable isotope analysis and his molecular skills gained when studying microbiomes to help push the frontier of the current understanding involving the complex relationship between the human microbiome and particular diseases.
Hometown: Old Westbury, New York
Domer A, Korine C, Slack M, Rojas I, Mathieu D, Mayo A, Russo D. 2021. Adverse effects of noise pollution on foraging and drinking behaviour of insectivorous desert bats. Mamm Biol. 101(4):497–501. doi:10.1007/s42991-021-00101-w.