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VCU Life Sciences

Matt Balazik

Integrative life sciences
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Matt Balazik, a life sciences Ph.D. candidate, has always been drawn to the city of Richmond. Growing up in a rural Virginia community, he would visit the capital city for various events, but when it came time to finish his undergraduate degree, it was ultimately Richmond’s professional connections and VCU’s research facilities that convinced him to transfer here.

During his senior year at VCU, he took a fish biology course and found himself eager to learn more. While he pursued his master’s degree in biology, the Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life

Sciences became a cornerstone of academic and research excellence. This state-of-the-art field station thrives on 494 acres along the historic James River and provides researchers access to a variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Matt’s efforts now center on restoring the decreasing population of the prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon to Virginia waters and helping others understand how their actions influence the health of the river.