Kellien Peritz


My name is Kellien and I hail from Long Island, NY. I am currently a Junior in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State, majoring in Biorenewable Systems (bioproducts option). Outside of school and research, I am involved in the pediatric cancer philanthropy, THON, and a dance team.

I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have earned, and I love to help others realize their potential as well. I have served in several mentorship positions: during my freshman year, I was a peer mentor for students in or near academic probation; during my sophomore year, I was a Resident Assistant in an all-freshman dorm; during the summer between junior and senior year, I will be a LEAP mentor and provide academic and social support to help incoming freshmen transition to college.

Research Project

In the Curtis Lab, I am investigating how duckweed in the Chesapeake Bay can limit nutrient pollution. My research focuses on leveraging duckweed as a ‘substrate’ to grow the nitrogen fixing bacteria, Azotobacter vinelandii. Ultimately, this bacteria will be used as a biofertilizer to bioremediate the Bay, which has been polluted by the excessive use of chemical fertilizers. I also am in charge of the website development of the new