Elaina Hancock

Elaina (Laina) Hancock came to UConn as a graduate student and earned her master’s degree in microbiology in 2009. Laina first dipped her toes in writing for the Ka Leo student newspaper while studying pre-medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Though she never became an M.D. or Ph.D., Laina kept writing and brings experiences of being a student, researcher, and teaching assistant to her storytelling for UConn Today. After moving more than a dozen times growing up as an Army brat, she now lives in Storrs with her family but still travels whenever possible and dreams of returning to a more nomadic life someday. When not at work, you can find Laina in her garden, on a bike, lost in a book, or at a protest.

Author Archive

Hartford Connecticut skyline, Wickham Park, CT.

When Constructing Conservation Networks, It’s Best to Have a Plan

'You want to try to figure out what kind of habitat types we have and then collect at least one of everything'

Ski lifts drift over a green field as people walk in the distance.

Clues about the Northeast’s Past and Future Climate from Plant Fossils

The warmer, wetter, and homogeneous climate of the past may soon return for the eastern seaboard

Lisa Milke, a shellfish research expert, has been appointed as the new head of NOAA’s ecosystems and aquaculture division and is pictured standing by a body of water in a NOAA hat

UConn Grad Appointed Head of NOAA’s Ecosystems and Aquaculture Division

From Avery Point to a senior leadership role in the crucially important federal agency

Josh Frye, a poultry farmer in Hardy County, W.Va., churns out biochar from chicken waste and wood chips, turning it into a valuable fertilizing substance which is also environmentally clean.

An Emerging Agricultural Practice Offers New Promise for a Climate-Smart Future

'We can achieve the goal of climate-smart agriculture, and in the case of biochar, Connecticut is an ideal place for exploring and applying this approach'

Sunrise over a barren, rocky landscape, namely the Karoo Basin in South Africa.

Mercury Helps to Detail Earth’s Most Massive Extinction Event

'It wasn't just one very bad day on Earth. The situation is much more complicated than people realized'

A river flowing through a forest in the springtime.

Knowledge is Flowing: Connecting the Dots and Chipping Away at Modeling Uncertainty

'These two fields don't talk to each other much, but they can really help each other out'

Connecticut River landscape (Photo courtesy of CLEAR)

Appreciating the Bones of Connecticut’s Landscape

What do we landlubbers see when we close our eyes and think of the Nutmeg State?

Supermassive Black Hole Consuming Another Black Hole.

A Front Row View, an Abundance of Data, and a Glimpse of How Galaxies Evolve

UConn researchers are taking some of the guesswork out of how supermassive black holes merge

New England cottontail rabbit, Sylvilagus transitionalis, with black tipped ears, in the grass at the Donnelly Preserve in South Windsor, Connecticut.

A Tale of the Fight to Save New England’s Native Rabbit

For the New England cottontail, the path to protective status is not a straightforward one

Vector illustration of man having dilemma when choosing countryside or urban life.

When it Comes to Disaster Prevention Policies, Who Can We Trust?

If politicians seem shady, voters are less likely to spend on disaster prevention measures