Meet Bridget Chalifour, New Genomics Scientist

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Genomics Scientist

We're excited to bring Bridget Chalifour on the team as a genomics scientist in the Zoology Department at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Bridget brings a wealth of expertise to the Museum, excelling in the use of museum collections in modern genomics and human health research. To learn a bit more about her journey in genomics and what she looks forward to at the Museum, we asked her a few questions. 

Read on to learn about Bridget in her own words:

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What do you do as a genomics scientist?

At the Museum, I’m a genomics scientist. Genomics focuses on studying and understanding the complete set of genetic material, called the genome, within an organism. Every living organism, from humans to plants to bacteria, has a genome that contains all the instructions needed for growth, development and functioning. In my role, I use this genetic information to explore various questions: How are species related? Which genes facilitate species' adaptations to challenges? And perhaps my favorite inquiry - the intricate relationship between all the microbes residing in and on our bodies and human health.

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What do you look forward to in your new Museum position?   

Having previously conducted collections-based research during my Ph.D., I've witnessed firsthand the immense richness of data contained within museum collections. I'm thrilled to lead projects that merge genomics research with the Museum's resources across both human and non-human systems, such as our extensive zoological collections. Additionally, I'm drawn to the interactive aspect of this position, particularly the "fishbowl" concept of the genomics lab linked to Expedition Health. I have fond memories of observing labs like this one in other museums and zoos during my childhood, and I'm eager to embrace this role and actually BE the scientist in the fishbowl I looked up to as a kid.

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What are you passionate about, personally and/or professionally?  

I'm passionate about science communication and making science understandable and engaging for everyone. I’m interested in the art of making scientific concepts accessible, fun, and visually appealing. I even create themed color palettes for figures and graphs made in R software (this is a statistical software many scientists use) in my spare time, which helps researchers make their work more visually appealing and accessible to others.

What is your favorite hobby? 

I can’t name just one! I enjoy a healthy mix of running, hiking, knitting, baking, and catching up on my favorite TV shows. I also play music and enjoy playing violin and guitar!


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We can't wait to see the fresh perspectives and insights Bridget brings to our Museum community. Welcome to the team, Bridget! We're happy to have you with us!

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