Susanna L. Harris

PhD Candidate and Social Entrepreneur in North Carolina

View my portfolio

^^ Click button above for my current CV ^^

Click Here for my Summer 2019 Research Poster

Hi there! I am a Graduate Student in Microbiology at UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My passion for science ranges from research to teaching the public. You can find me (and my two dogs) on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

As a researcher in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Shank, I study how communities of bacteria adhere to plant roots. We believe that bacteria interacting with each other might affect their ability to colonize the plant and change its health. We hope to inform agricultural practices to replace chemical pesticides with bacterial probiotics.

My outreach focuses on facilitating exploration-based learning of biological concepts for people aged 5 to 95. I volunteer at the Morehead Planetarium and train future IMPACT program science communicators.

I founded PhD Balance in March 2018. We work to increase visibility and provide resources to those dealing with mental illness in Higher Education. You can view my speech about my motivation for founding The PhDepression LLC.

Click Here to find my interviews, blog posts, and more.

I love talking to fellow researchers, academics, dog-lovers, and all-around-amazing humans. You can email me at

  • Education
    • University of Iowa
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill