Sarah in front of her zebrafishes

Sarah Alto investigates behavioral and neural biology with the Molecular & Cellular Biology program, studying with Dr. James Strother in the Department of Integrative Biology. Being a new laboratory on campus, Alto is the first student to be involved in the research led by Dr. Strother. Using Danio rerio–commonly known as zebrafish–as the model organism for the study, Alto is responsible for the development and maintenance of these organisms in the Strother lab. Alto built zebrafish behavioral stations which can specifically control the carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen levels. Through computational methods and the behavioral stations, Alto is able to analyze the physiology of zebrafish under a controlled environment. 

Sarah working on her behavior station

Alto was raised in Aracada, CA–a town similar to Corvallis. Alto studied at the University of California, Berkeley and received a Bachelor's degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology with a focus in Genetics, Genomics, and Development. Aside from her extensive science education, Alto pursued a minor in Practice of Art. Alto's passion for science was fostered through her love of art and opportunities to be creative. Alto enjoys painting photorealism and modern art in her free time using acrylic paints, oil paints, and mixed media. 

Sarah holding zebrafish larvae for inspection