Monica Estiandan

Talkin’ Nerdy with This Week’s Student Spotlight: Monica Estiandan and the Pursuit of Ethnobotany

Meet Monica Estiandan. “As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to study the morphological traits of Monardella (Lamiaceae) through the use of the light and scanning electron microscopes,” says Monica Estiandan, a student at the University of the Pacific, on her profile.  “This sparked my interest in the plant sciences.”

You might wonder…what is she talking about? As an undergraduate at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Monica studied biological sciences and religion — a unique combo that led her to pursue work in ethnobotany. She is now working on her Master’s and teaching.

“Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people,” Monica said in an interview with “I grew up Catholic among devout family members. Studying religion in college was super interesting to me, especially when juxtaposed with the sciences.”

Behind all of this nerdy talk is a girl who loves her family and is interested in making an impact in the world through her work. “I love spending time with my family and try to spend time with my little sister as much as possible,” Monica said. “One of my favorite memories was when I spoke at a plant sciences convention in Utah. It was great to be able to have my baby sister there. She’s 10 years younger than I am!” Monica recently joined She found the platform helpful in featuring both her personality and professional aspirations.

“I’m excited to delve deeper into and see who I can connect with at my school and beyond,” Monica said. Read on to see how Monica uses!

Q. What’s your favorite feature on the platform?
I love the look and feel of my page. Now that I’m a Master’s student in the sciences, I don’t get the chance to show off in a creative manner. I used to paint and draw a lot in high school, so I definitely appreciate the visually appealing pages on

Q. What is your advice to others on how they can get the most out of their
I’m new on Though, if I had one advice is (it would be) to choose a photo that represents a different side of you than your biography. Yes, I geek out, but I do have a fun side to me that is represented by the photo you see on my profile. Go A’s!

Q. What are your top 3 favorite profiles? graham howesNot only is Graham Howes my friend, but he’s also got a captivating photo and bio. I hope I can make mine more like his one day! matt kern  I really like Matt Kern’s page. I don’t know him, but he’s a University of Pacific alum, and he looks like a cool guy. alma riego I’m also liking Alma Riego’s photo! Bonus points for being a fellow Pinay (aka. Filipina).