Dr. Susana Matias’ Lab

Saadhana Deshpande
Spring 2021

This semester I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Susana Matias from the department of Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology on a research project. We aimed to find the underlying benefits of green space and gardening exposure for the student community at Berkeley, and more specifically, at Berkeley Student Farms. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a direct increase in the rates of depression and anxiety in young adults and students, and gardening (one of the few fairly COVID safe activities) could be a mechanism with which to remediate the decrease of mental health that we are continuing to see. I was able to contribute to an extensive literature review as well as the Qualtrics survey that we shared with students at UC Berkeley. While we still have a long way to go in terms of collecting and analyzing data, we are excited to be studying the effects of community gardening on student health and well-being in various ways.

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