BioSCAN Students

annikahoy

Annika Hoy

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Applied Mathematics with minors in Psychology and Spanish

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Annika Hoy is originally from Northern California and in her free time she likes to ride horses and motorcycles. She'd like to thank her mom, who will probably post a link to this on Facebook (if she can figure out how to post a link).

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Dana Handy

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

In my experience at USC I have been able to study abroad in New Zealand, become a scientific SCUBA diver and do research in Guam and Palau. Outside of school my hobbies include rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking and camping. I am originally from San Diego and hope to return after I graduate in order to accomplish my Masters at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. I am very passionate about ocean conservation and hope to pursue a career in marine biodiversity and conservation or in environmental education.

jedgonzalez

Jed (Niko) Gonzalez

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and minor in Natural Sciences

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

I graduated Thousand Oaks High School in 2011. Transferred in to USC from Moorpark College in 2013. Expected graduation from USC is 2016 with a BS in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a minor in Natural Sciences. I want to pursue medicine somewhere down the line but I am also thinking about taking a few years off to do some humanitarian work first. My brother and I are the first generation born in the USA and we currently live in Thousand Oaks, California.

jessicajung

Jessica Jung

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Economics with minor in Dance

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jessica is a junior majoring in economics and considering a minor in dance. She has been dancing since the age of six and have taken classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, and Chinese Folklorical. She also has a yorkshire terrier that she spoils way too much and is her baby. Not only that but she is also a major foodie and is always looking for new things to try.

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Kevin Shamash

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Global Health and Biological Sciences

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

My name is Kevin Shamash and I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I am a Senior at USC majoring in Global Health and Biological Sciences and plan on going to Medical School next year. I enjoy skiing, relaxing on the beach, hiking, playing the saxophone and classical literature. I heard about the BioScan project from a professor working on the project and jumped at the opportunity to learn about the biodiversity of the city I grew up in.

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Kiana Gomez

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Philosophy, Politics and Law

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Kiana is a freshman majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Law and planning to minor in English. She hopes to visit every museum in the world (the cool ones at least) and loves reading, eating, and watching every episode of 30 Rock on Netflix over and over again. Her roommate can recite lines even though she’s never watched an episode herself.

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Mark Paraschuk

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Computer Science and Business Administration

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Born Estonian, raised Russian, Mark Paraschuk brings the free-willing, European spirit to the lab. He is currently majoring in Computer Science/Business Administration at USC. He was drawn to the BioSCAN project by his love for the natural world and the prospect of participating in groundbreaking research regarding urban biodiversity. His interests vary far and wide, but a steady constant in his life is his love for tea and reading.

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Rachel Song

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Fine Arts with minor in Psychology

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Rachel is a senior with a fine arts major and psychology minor. Born in Los Angeles, she moved around a total of fourteen times and lived in places such as Seoul and San Diego. Her current obsessions include: honey roasted peanut butter, outdoor movie screenings, and home-made smoothies. She is a barista with great adoration for coffee and pastries. She hopes to travel around the world some day.

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Sean Roth

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Film Production

Fall 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Sean is a senior who will be majoring in Film Production. Since he could walk he would wander around his backyard catching insects and studying them. His passion for living things led to aspirations of becoming an entomologist but when he discovered photography he couldn’t get cameras out of his hand. Making films is the culmination of all of his interests: telling stories, making beautiful images, and interacting with the world around us.

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Juhi Vora

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Occupational Therapy with minor in Religion

Summer 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Juhi is a (incoming?) sophomore majoring in occupational therapy and minoring in religion at the University of Southern California. She never imagined she would be working with insects as she has a rocky relationship with cockroaches, but after starting work at the Natural History Museum and learning more about the diversity within the insect world, she has become fascinated by them. She enjoys learning new things about all fields and in her free time she likes to craft, explore Netflix, and surf the web.

tammylee

Tammy Lee

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Summer 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Tammy is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies. Although she has always had an irrational fear of insects before, she is glad to be a part of a project where she can study these organisms and grow to love their unique charms. In her free time, she likes to learn about Korean culture and think about her next meal.

jessieguo

Yangzi (Jessie) Guo

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biochemistry with minor in Video Game Animation

Summer 2014 – present: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jess is a rising sophomore majoring in biochemistry with a minor in video game animations. Currently, she does not know what she wants to do in the future yet but a veterinarian is on the top of her reasonable jobs list. Pop star and food critic are on her unreasonable but fun jobs list. Always wanted a pet that’s not a tomagatchi. Besides staring at interesting invertebrates, she enjoys kbbq, boba, all types of music, and video games.

christinetran

Christine Tran

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Psychology, minor in Public Health

Fall 2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – present: BioSCAN student

Christine is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Health. She is pursing a future in the medical/health field. She likes visiting museums; this is how she developed an interest in working in one. She enjoys music and playing piano. Her favorite parts of the day (besides working at the MBC, of course) are eating and sleeping.

nicolewongk

Nicole Wongk

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Chemical Engineering

Fall 2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – present: BioSCAN student

Nicole is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. She hopes to use her degree to design and produce haircare products. Her interest in the Biodiversity Center was sparked when she saw a poster on campus offering the opportunity to work with real specimens that could end up on display at the museum! On the weekends she enjoys playing her violin at church and roller skating at Venice Beach or anywhere there’s a smooth surface and music. She loves to travel, especially outside of the United States.

sharonoh

Sharon Oh

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Animation and Digital Art

Fall 2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – present: BioSCAN student

Sharon is a freshman majoring in Animation and Digital Art in the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In her spare time she likes to sleep, swim, sew, draw, and play video games. If she were an animal she would be a monstrous fusion between a Shiba Inu, a Barn Owl, and a rabbit. If you own a Shiba Inu, you should let her pet it. So far her favorite insect is the Cuckoo Wasp because it looks like it’s covered in fabulous glitter.

juliagarcia

Julia Garcia

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health and Humanity

Summer 2013 – present: BioSCAN student

Summer 2013 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

2014: BioSCAN research student

Julia is a sophomore majoring in Health and Humanity. She hopes to one day become a psychiatrist so she can finally get paid to hang out with crazy people. For now, she enjoys entertaining herself by watching shows like Dexter and guesstimating the number of fairy shrimp in a lot!

jeanpongsai

Jean Pongsai

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Fine Arts

Spring 2013 – present: BioSCAN student

Fall 2011 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jean is a freshman majoring in Fine Arts. She plans to pursue fashion design in the future. Her special talent is squirrel calling, and yes, they do run over to her. Whenever she is bored, she likes to watch scary movies. Her favorite food is curry, so please buy her some.

2015

kimberlymorales

Kimberly Morales

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

My name is Kimberly Morales. I am Puerto Rican and Pacific Islander. I was raised in Florida, never more than 15 minutes away from the beach. I am currently a freshman at the University of Southern California with a double major in Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences and looking into a minor in cultural anthropology. In my spare time, I like photography, hiking, surfing, or simply going to the beach. I am excited to be a member of the BioSCAN project and am looking forward to the what’s in store!

2014

katiehan

Katie Han

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2014: BioSCAN student

Katie is a freshman majoring in biology. Since she was a kid, Katie has loved doing science experiments, and she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. In her spare time, she plays golf, goes hiking, and composes her own music on the piano. Katie also loves coffee and food.

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Ernesto Figueroa

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Summer 2014 – Fall 2014: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Ernesto is a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He enjoys the unique mix of human biology with the numbers and math associated with engineering. During his spare time, Ernesto enjoys sitting on the couch watching movies and staying current with his favorite sports teams. He is usually not too fond of bugs, so Ernesto keeps his knowledge of insects in the workplace and prefers to believe they do not inhabit his yard or home.

anaacosta

Anayenzi (Ana) Acosta

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Summer 2014: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Anayenzi is a sophmore interested in pursuing Biomedical Engineering. Her personal philosophy is that “a smile is the universal language of kindness”. She enjoys watching black and white films, jamming out to 80s music, trying new foods, and exploring different parts of LA. Her favorite part about working at the museum is the opportunity to take a “sneak peak” at the beautifully designed, but often hidden, world around us!

josediego

Jose Diego

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Astronomy with minor in Natural Science

Summer 2014: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jose is majoring in Astronomy and minoring in Natural Science. He has always been interested in science but has never had the opportunity to work with insects. He enjoys learning new things in fields he has not studied in depth. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer and video games. In the future he aspires to earn a Masters in Geophysics and a PhD. in Astrophysics.

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Christina Li

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Spring 2013 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN student

Fall 2012 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN research student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Christina is a Biological Sciences major. She likes to watch dramas & movies in general in her spare time. Occasionally, she also likes to play the piano. She loves to be around animals, especially furry ones. She is volunteering at the Natural History Museum because it is a fun place to gain more experience in a field she had not previously considered.

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Maria Peltekova

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (B.A. 2014)

Major: English

Spring 2013 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN student

Fall 2011 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Maria is an English major who is happy to have an excuse for wandering over to the Museum everyday. If she were a fruit, she would be a strawberry; if she were an animal, she would be a cat; if she were a day, she would be Monday; and if she were a specimen in a marine bio lab, she would be an Uca mjoebergi, though she wouldn't mind being a Eubranchipus holmanii.

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Tim Gonzalez

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

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Brenda Ho

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Sociology

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Brenda is a senior majoring in sociology. She plans to attend law school after graduation. One day she dreams of pursuing her love of cooking, baking, and all things food. She applied to the Biodiversity Center because of her interest in nature. She really looks forward to learning more about the evolution of insects and how the environment effects them.

johnlee

John Lee

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Economics and Mathematics

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

John is a senior studying Economics/Mathematics. Although he is a numbers person, he enjoys working on hands-on projects and activities rather than spending time on at desk in front of the computer. He is glad about working at the museum because he gets to see and learn about interesting things, especially dinosaurs. Since childhood, he liked reading about the universe and wishes that there was an outer space exhibit at the museum.

silkemariano

Silke Ann Mariz Mariano

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Summer 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Spring 2011 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Silke Ann is a sophomore majoring in Biophysics and hopefully minoring in Astronomy. She loves stargazing (not happening in LA), travelling, reading, anime and pandas(!). Whenever she has time, she watches Asian romantic comedy dramas and plays badminton or tennis. She is nocturnal. She has been in close proximity with the ocean all her life, having lived in the Philippines up to the age of 13 and Hawaii until she was 18.

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Brian Shaw

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Summer 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Brian Shaw is a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Ever since he could remember, he has had an affinity for all sciences including biology. In his spare time, he likes to listen to music — classical, rock, and electronica — on top of hanging out with friends. Other hobbies include reading comics, playing the piano, and surfing the web.

kelseybailey

Kelsey Bailey

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Political Science, minor in Photography

Summer 2014 – present: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Fall 2012 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Kelsey is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Photography. She used to fear worms, but after her first day curating Polychaetes (marine worms), she is slowly getting used to them (after all they are no longer alive). She is fond of antiquated forms of photography, voluminous clouds, eclectic music, coffee, butterflies and being sassy.

kristigadalla

Kristi Gadalla

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (B.Sc. 2014)

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Kristi is a junior studying biomedical engineering. Since childhood she has loved fishing and catching small crabs with her bare hands. To date she considers eating an entire Freebirds super monster burrito in one sitting to be her greatest accomplishment. While eating obscene amounts of food is currently her most treasured talent, running obscene distances is a close second.

2013

jennifershen

Jennifer Shen

University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (M.S. 2014)

Major: Environmental Engineering

Fall 2012 – Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Spring 2013 – Fall 2013: BioSCAN student

Spring 2014: BioSCAN intern

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Jennifer is a first-year Masters student studying Environmental Engineering. As an undergrad at the University of California Berkeley, she studied Environmental Science and Economics. She enjoys exploring zoos and museums, especially ones with dinosaurs because they are very interesting and exciting.

janiechen

Janie Chen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Fall 2013 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN research student

Fall 2013 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Summer 2013: BioSCAN student

Summer 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Janie is a freshman majoring in Health Promotion Disease Prevention. In her free time, she enjoys reading. Though it’s too hard for her to pick an absolute favorite, her favorite book of the moment is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Her dream is to become a coral reef gardener in Australia. Blind Pilot, Passion Pit, and TOKiMONSTA are tied for first place in her iTunes most played. If she could choose a superpower, she would choose to have the ability to speak every language in the world.

tristanjordan

Tristan Jordan

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2013: BioSCAN student

Spring 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Tristan is a freshman majoring in Biochemistry and plans to minor in Economics. Since he was young, he has been passionate about the study of nature and life. One of his goals is to pursue biological research that contributes to medicine. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano and drawing manga.

2012

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Giovani Zelada

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Human Biology

Fall 2012: BioSCAN student

Fall 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Giovani is a Sophomore majoring in Human Biology and considering a minor in Theatre. He is passionate about helping his community, motivating him to become a physician. His favorite part about working at the MBC is receiving exposure to the variety of marine animals in the ocean.