Christina Anaya was born and raised on the west coast of California. After enrolling in college at a non-traditional age, she became fascinated with biology after attending a 2-week field course in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks at a local junior college. She then transferred to California Polytechnic State University and received a B.S. with an emphasis on field and wildlife biology. Although plant taxonomy was her first love, she switched to parasitology after discovering a new species of parasite (hairworms, Phylum: Nematomorpha) in her back yard during the first year of graduate school. Since then, the worms have taken her to Oklahoma, Iceland, Michigan, Nebraska, and most recently, Florida. During graduate school, she realized the importance of giving undergraduates opportunities in research because these opportunities have the power to change the trajectory of a career as it did for her. She was attracted to Florida for its diverse parasite and insect fauna but more importantly, to FGCU for its commitment to student learning and engagement in student research. Today she mentors several students in parasitology by examining the parasites of the many nonnative species that have invaded Florida.
- The American Society of Parasitologists
- Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
- Icelandic Ecological Society
- Iceland Biological Society
- Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science