Gabriella Alvarez

Mentor: Dr. Anne Mathews
Food Science and Human Nutrition
"Initially entering UF, I told myself I would never be involved in research. I had always pictured research as being stuck in a lab pipetting for hours, which did not seem fun. My sophomore year of college, I came across a flyer for a research opportunity involving a health intervention and for some reason it caught my eye. After meeting with the principal investigator and learning more about the project, I realized this project was not the traditional research project and decided to give research a try. Through this larger study (Get Fruved), I began to ask a lot of "what if" questions, which sparked my interest in performing my own research. With the help of Dr. Mathews, I finally chose a question to follow through with and began an entire research project. After a year, I completed and presented my first poster presentation on my project. Now with a little more experience and a lot of interest, I will continue to evolve my research through the University Scholars Program and will carry this experience into my future medical career."


Nutritional Sciences



Research Interests

  • Nutrition
  • Skin
  • Overall Health

Academic Awards

  • UF Science For Life Intramural Undergraduate Research Award 2015
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Get Fruved
  • Preprofessional Service Organization
  • Student Health Interdisciplinary Program


  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Humane Society
  • Project Makeover

Hobbies and Interests

  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Reading
  • Dancing

Research Description

The Overall Effect Fruit and Vegetable Intake Has on Skin
The objective of this project is to further validate the effectiveness of fruit and vegetable consumption on enhancing facial skin coloration and overall complexion as well as how potential changes impact one’s body image. This study will be a continuation of another study that determines if skin is a contributing factor to overall body image. As body image assessment typically focuses on body shape and size, participants were given a survey that assessed their views of their body shape and skin condition. Results showed that skin did in fact contribute to overall body image. The purpose of this new study is to build on my results, providing a healthy method for improving skin and overall body image. To study the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on an individual's skin, I will be performing an intervention over a period of six weeks in the fall. Each participant will be provided with the appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables to consume each week and will be monitored for consumption and changes in skin color over time.