Biodiversity Center Personnel

For over a decade, the Marine Biodiversity Center has hosted numerous projects. These projects achieved their goals due to the work of a number of staff, interns, students, research students, and volunteers, many of whom worked in different roles at different times.

This page lists the staff and other personnel who have been directly associated with the Marine Biodiversity Center.

Staff

jenessawall

Jenessa Wall — Assistant Collections Manager

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA (B.Sc. 2014)

Email: jwall@nhm.org   Phone: 213-763-3231   Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor

Summer 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Summer 2014 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

2013 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2013 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2011 – Summer 2012: NSF Decapoda intern

Summer 2011 – Summer 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Jenessa graduated with a Bachelors in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014. During her undergraduate years she spent summers working in the Marine Biodiversity Center curating the marine invertebrate collections and helping to build the Tree of Life: Decapoda database of digitized taxonomic reprints. Jenessa returned to the lab as Assistant Collections Manager in 2014 where she curates and maintains the collections.

adamwall

Adam Wall — Collections Manager

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Email: awall@nhm.org   Phone: 213-763-3450   Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor

2011 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2013 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

2008 – 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

2008 – 2011: NSF Decapoda student

Adam is a junior and is currently majoring in Biology as a precursor to graduate work in Medicine. He had his first research experience in high school when he joined NASA’s Micro Robot Explorer Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an Intern Roboticist. In college, he continued working on the Spiderbot Project as well as other robotic projects as a private contractor for JPL and as a Blue Sky Robotics intern. After transferring to USC, his scientific interests have focused on the biological sciences, and he is enjoying working with Crustacea and MBPC team members to make literature and new collections available to the scientific community.

deanpentcheff

Dean Pentcheff — Project Coordinator

Duke University and University of California at Berkeley

Email: pentcheff@gmail.com   Phone: 213-763-3217   Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor

Fall 2016 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Summer 2015 – Fall 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

2012 – 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2005 – 2012: NSF Decapoda staff

Dean is coordinating NHM’s Diversity Initiative for the Southern California Ocean. Prior to that, he was a co-founder and coordinator of NHM’s BioSCAN survey of urban-to-non-urban arthropod biodiversity. He has a background in bioinformatics related to taxonomy and specimen collections and, prior to that, research experience in marine biomechanics focusing on animal-fluid interactions.

reginawetzer

Regina Wetzer — Associate Curator, Marine Biodiversity Center Director, BioSCAN Project Co-PI (2013–2015/05)

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (Ph.D. 2000)

Major: Biology

Email: rwetzer@nhm.org   Phone: 213-763-3217   Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor

2013 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

2002 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Collections Management Consultant for San Diego Natural History Museum, 1993.

Senior Collections Manager, Department of Marine Invertebrates, San Diego Natural History Museum, 1987-1993.

Collections Manager, Invertebrate Section, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Museum, 1985-1987.

Morphological and molecular crustacean systematist. Invertebrate taxonomist.

Relational database design for museum collections, laboratory information management systems, and bibliographic inventories. Extensive experience in database development, construction, and analysis.

kathyomura

Kathy Omura — Collections Manager

University of Alaska, Fairbanks (B.Sc. 1987)

Major: Wildlife Management

Email: komura@nhm.org   Phone: 213-763-3386   Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor

2001 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2013 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

Laboratory Supervisor, Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Laboratory Technician, Institute of Marine Science, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Benthic invertebrate sample processing, curation, identification, and taxonomy.

Extensive invertebrate taxonomic experience with emphasis on polychaete worms.

Training and supervision of students and laboratory assistants.

Quality control of data entry and taxonomic identifications.

2014

phyllissun

Phyllis Sun — Assistant Collections Manager

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (B.F.A. 2011)

Major: Fine Arts

Email: psun@nhm.org   Phone: 213-763-3386   Location: Marine Biodiversity Center, Ground Floor

Fall 2008 – 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

2011 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2013 – 2014: BioSCAN staff

Phyllis earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California's Roski School of Fine Arts, emphasizing photography, drawing, and design. While at USC, she worked for the Marine Biodiversity Center, photographing specimens and assisting with the start up of a photographic database for the Malacology and Invertebrate Paleontology collections. Phyllis joined the Marine Biodiversity Center as staff in 2011, where she helps curate and database specimens. Phyllis hopes to continue her interest in curation and conservation.

2011

emmafreeman

Emma Freeman — Curatorial Assistant

University of of Southern California, B.A. 2009, Environmental Studies

Fall 2009 – Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Administrative Assistant, Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Research Assistant, Alcohol and Brain Lab, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California.

Student, Paleoclimatology Lab, University of Southern California.

Emma enjoys learning about the great diversity of marine invertebrates and all their weird ways. She loves natural history museums.

2009

krisnetchy

Kris Netchy — Curatorial Assistant

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, B.S. 2004, Zoologyg

Summer 2008 – Summer 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Research and Field Assistant, University of Guam Marine Laboratory, 2006-2008.

Research Assistant and Molecular Lab Technician, Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005-2006.

Collections Assistant, Florida Museum of Natural History, 2003-2006.

Marine invertebrate taxonomy, particularly knowledgeable regarding tropical aspidochirote holothurians.

Marine invertebrate evolution, speciation, and biogeography.

I absolutely love learning about all aspects of marine invertebrate biodiversity and natural history through curation and observation of live organisms in the field!

2007

darolynstriley

Darolyn Striley — Curatorial Assistant

University of California Los Angeles, Westwood, California, B.A. 2002, Women's Studies

2002 – 2007: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Darolyn worked for our Museum as Curatorial Assistant in the Crustacea Department where she helped move the University of Southern California Allan Hancock Foundation collection. She coordinated volunteers and workstudy students into a team who helped shelve in taxonomic order the 100,000+ lot collection. She enjoys sorting and identifying invertebrates and encountering specimens in the field, like this ocypodid crab in Huatulco, Mexico, which seconds later took a chunk off her finger.

2005

kristazala

Krista Zala — Curatorial Assistant

University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, B.S. 2001, Biology and Women’s Studies

2002 – 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

While spending weekends on the shores around Vancouver Island, Canada, Krista developed a great fascination for intertidal creatures and seaweeds. In field courses while working on her undergraduate degree at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Center (BMSC), she studied the morphological diversity of Macrocystis intergrifolia, used fitness models to predict brooding and broadcast spawning in benthic invertebrates, and studied dialect change in killer whales. She has worked as a nature interpreter, a research assistant at BMSC, and as a public educator at The Land Conservancy of British Columbia. Now that she's in L.A., the MBPC has her surrounded by marine snails — let's hope she can outrun them!

neftycamacho

Neftali (Nefty) Camacho — Curatorial Assistant

California State Polytechnic, Pomona, California, B.S. 2002, Zoology

2002 – 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Teaching Assistant, Invertebrate Zoology, Cal Poly Pomona, 2000-2002.

Laboratory Assistant, Entomology, Cal Poly Pomona, 2000-2002.

Research Assistant, Entomology, Cal Poly Pomona, 2000-2001.

General marine invertebrate curation, identification, and taxonomy. Experience in identification and curation of insect families both terrestrial and aquatic. Field research experience capturing and identifying Hymenopterans (bees, wasps).

Nefty’s interests are phylogeny and social animal behavior. His fascination in phylogeny stems from his interests in family trees, figuring out where organisms came from and how they changed over time. His interest in animal social behavior is rooted from observing his flock of pet guinea hens interacting with one another. He hopes his work adds to the preservation and knowledge of our natural world.

2002

philhoover

Phil Hoover — Curatorial Assistant

2001 – 2002: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Invertebrate survey sample processing.

Interns, Students, Research Students, and Volunteers

savannahbenes

Savannah Benes

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Spring 2017 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Savannah is a senior at USC from San Diego, CA. She is currently majoring in environmental studies, and wants to pursue a career in marine biology. In her free time, Savannah likes to scuba dive, go to concerts, play with puppies, and bartend.

jessicacarillo

Jessica Carrillo

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2017 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Jessica is a sophomore at USC planning to major in Biomedical Engineering. She is a Latino Alumni Association Scholar, writer and social media chair for the online magazine Society.19, and works with USC Viterbi’s pre-college engineering program. She enjoys cooking and baking, spending time with friends and family, weight training, and making people laugh .

sujinjeong

Sujin Jeong

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Psychology and Human Biology double-major

Fall 2016 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Sujin is Psychology and Human Biology double-major who thoroughly enjoys standing inside the great redwoods near her home in Northern California. You can often find her attempting to build an excellent rapport with the dogs of strangers or organizing her Google calendar to a tee. Her favorite film to relentlessly sob to is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Her favorite film to expel an amused puff of air from her nose in lieu of an audible laugh is White Chicks. Her favorite person is whoever took the time to actually read this.

katyabalakhovsky

Katharine Balakhovsky

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies; minor: Cinematic Arts

Spring 2017 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Fall 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Katya is a student at the University of Southern California, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in Cinematic Arts. She is a member of the USC Ski and Snowboard team and of the USC ENST Scientific Dive Team. She enjoys spending time in nature and interacting with all sorts of different animals. She also likes to travel, draw, and go to concerts.

gmowery

Gracie Mowery

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Planning, Policy, and Design; Minor: Architecture

Fall 2015 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Gracie is originally from rural Ohio, where her family has lived for multiple generations. Like her mother and grandfather, she can often be found making art (and yes, quickly scribbled doodles on paper scraps of cuddly monsters and fairy shrimp are indeed art). She plans on incorporating what she learns about the natural environment in the lab with what she learns about the built environment in her urban planning classes.

jenniferpan

Jennifer Pan

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Fall 2016 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Fall 2015 – Spring 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Jennifer is a sophomore in Biomedical Engineering at USC. She is also a coffee addict and thinks museums are awesome. In her free time she likes to go running, try new restaurants in LA, and play video games.

annikahoy

Annika Hoy

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Applied Mathematics with minors in Psychology and Spanish

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN 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).

kianagomez

Kiana Gomez

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Philosophy, Politics and Law

Fall 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN 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.

jimcline

Jim Cline

2002 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2003 – 2006: NSF Isopods volunteer

Jim's urge to be a wide-view visionary has resulted in three technical papers, numerous electronic documents, and two websites. He foresees a time when DNA from creatures living today may be used to create thriving ecosystems in huge space colonies orbiting the Earth, connected by space elevator technologies — perhaps only a few decades from now. Jim has not only volunteered for Invertebrate Paleontology making thin sections of fossil corals and for the MBC until 2004 helping with curation, but he has also been instrumental in databasing and preparing the online Isopod Image Database, work that is ongoing: Check it out.

2016

dongjoonnam

Dong Joon Nam

Grover Cleveland Charter High School

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Dong Joon Nam is a rising senior attending Grover Cleveland Charter High School. He joined us through Advanced Research and Internship Program (ARIP) in Summer 2016. He not only has great passion for Marine & Coastal Science, but also has interest for Biology, Environmental Science, and sustainable practices in various fields including archaeology. Being a So Cal native, Eric has visited the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on many school field trips and is very thrilled to work at the Marine Biodiversity Center.

gregbae

Greg Bae

Oakton High School, VA

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Greg is a rising senior at Oakton High School in Virginia. He is very passionate in the field of STEM, especially physics and engineering. He was originally interested in engineering but gained a lot of perspective in molecular biology during this internship. He loves researching and learning new things about the world. He is also on the school’s debate team and golf team, so he loves going outside and traveling. He hopes to go into the field of engineering or science in college.

gyunakim

Gyuna Kim

Saint James High School, Montgomery, AL

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Gyuna is a rising senior at Saint James high school in Montgomery, AL. She spends time with her robotics team and is interested in STEM areas, especially engineering. She is excited to gain further experience in marine biodiversity.

irenelee

Irene Lee

West Ranch High School

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Irene is a rising senior at West Ranch High School located in Southern California. She enjoys learning about various subjects, especially in the STEM field. Irene joined ARIP this summer to learn more about molecular biology and biodiversity and is excited to work with Marine Biodiversity staff at the Natural History Museum.

juliannelee

Julianne Lee

Palos Verdes High School, CA

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Julianne is currently a rising sophomore at Palos Verdes High School. She has a strong interest in biomechanics and anatomy. During her free time, she likes to paint pictures, dance, sing, travel, and swim. If you could describe her in four words, she is very passionate, diligent, supportive, and adventurous. Her dream is to become a dentist or a taxonomist.

jungyunjang

Jungyun (Jenny) Jang

McLean High School, VA

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Jenny graduated from McLean High School in Virginia. She is trying to gain experience in many fields, and has an interest in biology. She had such a fun time working in the lab! She learned so much from working with good people. She now hopes to pursue biology because she was inspired from passionate teachers.

yunlee

Yun Lee

Camden County College Camden, NJ

Major: Biology

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2016 ARIP (Advanced Research Internship Program)

Yun started his freshman year at Rutgers and is continuing his sophmore education at Camden County College. As an undergraduate he is studying biology and is interested in branching off to forensics.

marcusleher

Marcus Leher

Harvard-Westlake High School

Summer 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Marcus is a sophomore at Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City. He is passionate about science and math, and has always loved observing nature and animals. He is also on his school swim team, and enjoys playing table tennis during his free time. Marcus hopes to major in a STEM related field after graduating high school.

lynnsong

Lynn Song

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Science and Health, Economics

Spring 2016: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Lynn is a junior at the University of Southern California double majoring in Environmental Science and Economics. She is interested in environmental policy and sustainable practices in various fields including industry. Being a So Cal native, she has come to the Natural History Museum on many school field trips and she is very excited to work at the Marine Biodiversity Center. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, making ceramics, golfing, and taking long walks on the beach.

2015

cmalarkey

Claire Malarkey

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Piano Performance

Fall 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Claire is a freshman at USC studying Piano Performance. She loves hiking and skiing, and spends a lot of her free time on the coast in Washington.

emena

Eilen Itzel Mena

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Roski School of Art & Design and Price School of Public Policy

Fall 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

I am from the Bronx, New York and am now living in Los Angeles attending the University of Southern California studying Fine Art and Urban Planning. I am interested in cultural preservation in the urban areas through the arts. I like to consider myself as a renaissance woman, loving the humanities but trying to get into STEM. I am excited to be working as the Art Intern for the Marine Biodiversity Center at the Natural History Museum.

menloe

Matthew Enloe

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Fall 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Matthew is a So Cal native majoring in Environmental Studies. He is interested in sustainable food production including aquaculture, hydroponics, and entomophagy (eating bugs). In his free time he enjoys skateboarding, knitting, gardening, and skepticism.

sivakamiananthasingam

Sivakami Ananthasingam

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Neuroscience

Fall 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Hello everyone! My name is Sivi. I'm a junior studying Neuroscience/Pre-Med at USC. I hope to one day become a physician of emergency medicine. I have a passion for volleyball, global health, and reading. I have always had a fear of insects and feel that working on BioSCAN projects will help me conquer my fear and learn about a branch of science that I wouldn’t have normally been able to study in-depth.

markparaschuk

Mark Paraschuk

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Computer Science and Business Administration

Fall 2014 – Fall 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN 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.

lindsayhafen

Lindsay Hafen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Spring 2015 – Fall 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Spring 2014 – Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Spring 2014 – Fall 2014: BioSCAN research student

Summer 2013 – Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2013 – Fall 2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Lindsay is studying biological sciences at the University of Southern California. She enjoys traveling, reading, painting and, of course, biology! She isn’t sure what her future career will be, but she has been inspired by the Natural History Museum and thinks it will have something to do with biology. Her favorite insect currently are European honey bees.

chenliang

Chen Liang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Chemical Engineering

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

My name is Chen and I am a freshman majoring in chemical engineering (struggling over the possible emphases in ChemE). I come from Beijing, China and I speak Mandarin. This is my first time studying abroad and I feel excited and overwhelmed at the same time. I have been doing Taekwondo for two years and currently I am a member of the USC Taekwondo club. I love to cook and bake. My favorite food is Korean food (can’t live without Kimchi) thus my favorite part of LA is Ktown. I am a dog person and I have two dogs back at home, a poodle which looks like a teddy bear and a Yorkshire terrier. I miss them a lot! I have never thought of working with insects but I believe I will learn a lot from this experience.

christinarouse

Christina Rouse

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Christina is a Trustee Scholar and a Sophomore Environmental Studies major at the University of Southern California. She is rescue and scientific diver certified; in her free time she is active in philanthropic work in Los Angeles.

danielkim

Daniel Kim

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Neuroscience

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

phoebelew

Phoebe Lew

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Computer Science

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Phoebe is a sophomore hailing from a sleepy suburb in eastern Washington. She thinks the lab has the nicest people she’s worked with so far, and more importantly, the best coffee. When she’s not coding or working, she can be found in the physical education building at martial arts practices, or reading post modernist fiction.

rebeccafang

Rebecca Fang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Engineering

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Rebecca is a sophomore studying Environmental Engineering at USC. Aside from exploring the great outdoors, she enjoys playing guitar, creative writing, and basketball. One day she hopes to work in the clean energy industry while learning as many languages as she can!

ruthpark

Ruth Park

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Sociology

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Ruth is a junior majoring in Sociology at the University of Southern California. After switching majors over seven times, she decided to settle with Sociology because she wants to focus on social change. In her free time, she likes to hike, play with her two poodles and bunny, read books by Jane Goodall and dance in the kitchen while baking. If she were stranded on an island and could only choose one food to eat and one insect species to live with, she would choose to eat only baguettes and live with bees (so she could eat its honey and use its venom for medicinal purposes). She would also try to smuggle in some Reese’s Pieces even though she knows she not allowed to.

samanthacadwell

Samantha Cadwell

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Sam Cadwell is a super!senior at USC working on a BS in biological sciences, emphasis education. As a professional artist & aspiring scientist, the life goal is to educate the next generation in biological conservation. A native Southern Californian, Sam still manages a taste for exotic weather; she has lived in Alaska & New Zealand, has traveled to eleven countries over three continents abroad and twelve states at home. She enjoys trail running, yoga, camping, art, & gardening. Friends & family describe her as “a dirty hippie.”

sungwonbyun

Sungwon Byun

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Chemical Engineering

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

I’m currently a junior at USC studying chemical engineering. I am interested in discovering ways to decrease harm to the environment from industrial processes. When I’m not thinking about school, I most enjoy spending time in the sun with Bear, my pitbull puppy.

henrynguyen

Tam (Henry) Nguyen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Computer Science

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

danahandy

Dana Handy

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

emmaross

Emma Ross

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies and Italian

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Emma is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies and Italian. After graduation, she plans on going to Brisbane, Australia to see where life takes her. Ever since she was 12, and began scuba diving, she knew she wanted to help the marine environment. She hopes to find a career in Coral and Coastal Management, focusing in outreach and ecotourism. Her favorite animal is the sperm whale (who on average can dive 4000 ft., how cool!). She enjoys listening to music, learning new languages, and really loves cheese!

jedgonzalez

Jed (Niko) Gonzalez

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

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

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

kevinshamash

Kevin Shamash

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Global Health and Biological Sciences

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

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!

rachelsong

Rachel Song

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Fine Arts with minor in Psychology

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

seanroth

Sean Roth

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Film Production

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

soniaboller

Sonia Boller

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sonia Boller is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies. Ever since she was little she has loved being outdoors and exploring the wonders of the natural world. In addition to her love of nature, she also enjoys reading, listening to music, and cooking vegan food. Her dream job involves traveling around the world taking photos that promote awareness and conservation of our natural resources.

benrefoua

Ben Refoua

Milken Community High School

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Benjamin is a junior at Milken Community High School. Ben has always loved bugs and science. Benjamin also likes to spend his time playing sports. Benjamin is a part of the Milken Community High School water polo and swim team. Benjamin also loves to travel and visit new places.

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Ernesto Figueroa

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

juhivora

Juhi Vora

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Occupational Therapy with minor in Religion

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2015: 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 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Summer 2013 – Spring 2015: 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!

kelseybailey

Kelsey Bailey

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Political Science, minor in Photography

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: 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.

jeanpongsai

Jean Pongsai

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Fine Arts

Spring 2013 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Fall 2011 – Spring 2015: 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.

chasepuentes

Chase Puentes

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Chase is a senior studying Environmental Studies and Communication at the University of Southern California. Originally from sunny San Diego, Chase is passionate about conservation both on land and in marine environments having spent much of her life in the outdoors hiking, camping, rock climbing, swimming, and otherwise adventuring. She loves movies and travel, and intends to work abroad after graduating in December 2015 before applying to graduate school. Chase’s dream career is to work as a research explorer for National Geographic, her favorite flavor of ice cream is pistachio, and she considers Sherlock to be the best TV show on air.

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Daniel Keroles

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Spring 2015: BioSCAN student

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Daniel Keroles is a senior studying Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California. He is currently in the process of applying to pharmacy school and hoping to begin in the fall of 2015. His past lab work includes Drosophila lifespan in Genetics and is now a member of the BioSCAN team in the Natural History Museum. Aside from working in labs, Daniel likes to spend his time exploring Los Angeles restaurants and playing guitar.

2014

christylee

Christy Lee

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Christy is a freshman majoring in Biology at USC. She loves watching tv and reading and often procrastinates on all her work. Her favorite foods are all fruits except apples, which she finds pretty boring. Currently, her goal is to find good, cheap boba tea close to USC if she ever finds time to explore.

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.

harleenmarwah

Harleen Marwah

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Spring 2013 – Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Spring 2013 – Fall 2014: BioSCAN research student

Harleen Marwah is a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Major from Upland, CA. Harleen aspires towards medical school, and plans to use her voice as an M.D. to facilitate communication between the science, business, and policy worlds. At USC, Harleen works at the USC Office for Wellness and Health Promotion, serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Students Taking Action in the Name of Diversity, and serves as a co-founder and director of the undergraduate ambassador program for USC’s Keck School of Medicine. Through her research at the Natural History Museum, Harleen’s passion for environmental health and for bridging the gap between science and policy has grown. And of course, she has become an advocate for those adorable fairy shrimp.

milofreedman

Milo Borsuk Freedman

Wildwood School

2013 – 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

2013 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

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!

cordeliaxie

Cordelia Xie

Princeton University

Major: Public and International Affairs with emphasis in Health and Wellbeing

Summer 2014: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Cordelia is a rising junior at Princeton University majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with an emphasis in Health and Wellbeing. She is interested in the public health implications of the changes urbanization has had on biodiversity. She has always been passionate about art and does a bit of drawing and painting, so she is very excited to work at the NHM over the summer. Cordelia enjoys everything Japanese, ranging from dramas to Pocky. Being on the east coast during the school year, she is enjoying every bit of the California sun.

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.

allarauota

Allara Uota

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Human Biology with minor in Web Technologies & Applications

Spring 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2014: BioSCAN research student

Allara enjoys swimming, surfing, wasting time on the internet, hand-lettering, and obsessing over Australian hip hop. At this point in time, she has no idea what she wants to do with her life after graduation, but she’s working on figuring that one out.

jennifercamello

Jennifer Camello

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Anthropology

Spring 2014 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Spring 2014 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN research student

Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Fall 2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Jennifer is a junior majoring in Anthropology and hopes to one day become a pediatrician. She used to want to become a museum curator because she loves Ancient Greek artifacts and history, so maybe this position will sway her back to the museum life. She is fond of baking, global health, dark chocolate, tea, and traveling.

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.

christinali

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.

mariapeltekova

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.

jenessawall

Jenessa Wall

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA (B.Sc. 2014)

Summer 2014 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

Summer 2014 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

2013 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

2013 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2011 – Summer 2012: NSF Decapoda intern

Summer 2011 – Summer 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Jenessa graduated with a Bachelors in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014. During her undergraduate years she spent summers working in the Marine Biodiversity Center curating the marine invertebrate collections and helping to build the Tree of Life: Decapoda database of digitized taxonomic reprints. Jenessa returned to the lab as Assistant Collections Manager in 2014 where she curates and maintains the collections.

bronteyang

Bronte Yang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

timgonzalez

Tim Gonzalez

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

brendaho

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.

edwinlee

Edwin Lee

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN research student

Edwin is currently a junior studying Biological Sciences at University of Southern California. He enjoys hiking, swimming, and watching movies. He loves working with cool insects in the Nature Lab and aspires to work in medicine after graduation. He really hates celery. He is 20 years old, but still very much enjoys watching Cartoon Network.

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.

nathannguyen

Nathan Nguyen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN research student

Nathan is a junior studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Italian. He plans to pursue a career in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. His hobbies include snowboarding, the beach, traveling, concerts, camping, fine dining, and just spending time with friends and family. He has a great passion for music and science.

tochukwumadu

Tochukwu Madu

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Psychology and Biology

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Tochi is a senior Psychology and Biology double major at USC from Cerritos, California. He is pre-med with hopes of becoming an endocrinologist. He is also currently working in the Mind in Development at USC due to his interest in early childhood development and social cognition. When he was a child he used to collect ladybugs and perform operations on fig beetles that got trapped in his pool. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball and watching National Geographic documentaries.

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.

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.

brianshaw

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.

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.

2013

brianloyd

Brian Loyd

University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Anthropology and History

2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Brian is a graduate of UCLA, with a bachelors in Anthropology and History. Having been both an employee and volunteer in the Education and Exhibits Department at NHM, Brian is seeking to broaden his horizons by working behind the scenes with the BioSCAN Project. Brian’s passions include Indian Pale Ales and 16-bit video games.

estellahernandez

Estella Hernandez

Whittier College, Whittier, CA

Spring 2005 – Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Estella enjoys camping and hiking. Her interest in the outdoors led her to the Natural History Museum. Estella has learned basic invertebrate taxonomy and identifies Puget Sound specimens under a dissecting microscope sorting them to phylum or class. She also assisted with the curation of the Fiji Collection — organizing specimens by lot number, printing and associating labels with specimens. And she loves bears!

markfloro

Mark Floro

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2013 – Summer 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Mark is a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Born and raised in Huntington Beach, Mark loves Southern California and going to the beach. He also enjoys watching movies and exploring Los Angeles. He hopes to learn important research skills by working in the Biodiversity Lab.

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.

eddygiang

Eddy Giang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Spring 2013: BioSCAN research student

Spring 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Fall 2012 – Spring 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Eddy is a senior majoring Biological Sciences. His interest in the field of biology first started at a young age, hiking with his family and exploring rivers for any moving life forms. In his spare time, Eddy enjoys the outdoors, photography, traveling, and cooking.

markleblanc

Mark LeBlanc

California State University, Long Beach (M.S. 2014)

Spring 2012 – Spring 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Mark is a grad student in biology at CSULA, and he currently plans to present his thesis on the taxonomy of a new species of Caribbean ostracod in summer 2012. Outside of ostracods, Mark’s other hobbies include medieval fantasy novels, dark synth-pop albums and aspirations of travel. After graduating he hopes to pursue a career studying the evolutionary relationships among crustacean taxa.

2012

giovanizelada

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.

kristalha

Kristal Ha

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center student

I am currently a freshman majoring in Biochemistry and am planing to minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism. I hope to become a dentist and one day start an organization that works to provide dental care to those in less developed areas. My favorite part about this job is that it helps me overcome my irrational fear of all kinds of animals.

rollinbaker

Rollin Baker

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Rollin is a freshman majoring in Electrical Engineering and with minors in math and physics. He is from East Lansing, Michigan and is really looking forward to winter so he can laugh at all his friends stuck in snow back home. He also wants to give a shout out to his dad, who will probably show this to anyone and everyone he possibly can.

sanaahmed

Sana Ahmed

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sana graduated from USC with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies. She enjoys running, photography and reading. In addition to volunteering at the MBC, she works as an Emergency Medicine Scribe. She finds the MBC to be a nice change of pace from the ER.

nicolechang

Nicole Chang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Fall 2010 – Spring 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Nicole is a freshman majoring in Biological Sciences. She loves international travel, shopping, cupcakes, chocolate, and dogs. She is very excited to work at the Natural History Museum.

jonathansepulveda

Jonathan Sepulveda

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Fall 2009 – 2011: NSF Decapoda volunteer

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: NSF Decapoda intern

Fall 2009 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Jonathan is a sophmore studying Biomedical Engineering. When not up in the mountains shredding the slopes (the recent snow reminds him of home in Toronto, Canada), he is enjoying the California sun playing tennis or basketball. He loves working with animals (dead or alive!) and hopes to become a vet someday.

2011

jennycallahan

Jenny Callahan

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Fall 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jenny is a freshman majoring in Engineering. She is from Boston (and loves the Boston sports teams!) and does not miss the cold weather. She enjoys playing tennis and having fun. She is very excited to be working at the Museum.

phyllissun

Phyllis Sun

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (B.F.A. 2011)

Major: Fine Arts

Fall 2008 – 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

2011 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2013 – 2014: BioSCAN staff

Phyllis earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California's Roski School of Fine Arts, emphasizing photography, drawing, and design. While at USC, she worked for the Marine Biodiversity Center, photographing specimens and assisting with the start up of a photographic database for the Malacology and Invertebrate Paleontology collections. Phyllis joined the Marine Biodiversity Center as staff in 2011, where she helps curate and database specimens. Phyllis hopes to continue her interest in curation and conservation.

adamwall

Adam Wall

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

2011 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center staff

2013 – Summer 2015: BioSCAN staff

2008 – 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

2008 – 2011: NSF Decapoda student

Adam is a junior and is currently majoring in Biology as a precursor to graduate work in Medicine. He had his first research experience in high school when he joined NASA’s Micro Robot Explorer Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an Intern Roboticist. In college, he continued working on the Spiderbot Project as well as other robotic projects as a private contractor for JPL and as a Blue Sky Robotics intern. After transferring to USC, his scientific interests have focused on the biological sciences, and he is enjoying working with Crustacea and MBPC team members to make literature and new collections available to the scientific community.

andrewphillips

Andrew Phillips

Historic Resources Specialist, Fairfax Museum, Virginia

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

Andrew works in a small history museum in Virginia, preserving artifacts and helping put on public programs. One of his favorite places is the Hall of Dinosaurs at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, another is the High-Water Mark on the Gettysburg battlefield. In college he studied American history and went on to get a Master’s degree in Museum Studies. He enjoyed being able to help with the digitization of the decapods, but his historian side was not a fan of destroying books.

cherissedatu

Cherisse Datu

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

Assisted with the digitization of the Decapoda reprints from the Smithsonian Institution Crustacea Section.

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Ekin Dinc

Smithsonian Institution

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a History and Religious Studies degrees in 2009 I started volunteering at the Fairfax Museum and Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Right now I work as a part time Historic Resources Specialist at the Fairfax Museum. After working on the coral collections in the Invertebrate Zoology department at SI, I'll start working on the Encyclopedia of Life as a contractor this September.

heidicho

Heidi Cho

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Heidi is a Biological Sciences major. She loves traveling with her family and dog, Disney movies, singing, playing piano, and museums. She enjoys walking around the empty exhibits of NHM before opening hours. At the Marine Biodiversity Center, she loves looking at a variety of organisms in the collections room and helping sort specimen. She's not sure what her future career will be, but hopes it will be fun and inspiring!

kaseyhanson

Kasey Hanson

Alfred University, New York

Major: Ceramic Engineering

Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Kasey is a sophomore studying ceramic engineering. He enjoys surveying a wide range of scientific disciplines. In addition to volunteering for the MBC and Crustacea, Kasey works at his summer internship at the City of Hope. Kasey intends on pursuing a career in the sciences and traveling abroad as much as possible.

katefeil

Kate Feil

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

Assisted with the digitization of the Decapoda reprints from the Smithsonian Institution Crustacea Section.

lauradietrich

Laura Dietrich

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

Assisted with the digitization of the Decapoda reprints from the Smithsonian Institution Crustacea Section.

shanalongo

Shana Longo

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

Assisted with the digitization of the Decapoda reprints from the Smithsonian Institution Crustacea Section.

stephaniecanington

Stephanie Canington

Auburn University, Alabama

Summer 2011: NSF Decapoda intern

I am a Junior Anthropology student at Auburn University. I spent my summer interning with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s Invertebrate Zoology Department.

vijishook

Viji Shook

George Washington University, International Affairs, M.A., and University of Southern California, Economics and International Relations, B.A.

Summer 2010 – Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Viji is taking a brief detour from the hectic road of life to explore careers in the natural sciences. She is currently volunteering at the Dino Lab in addition to the Marine Biodiversity Center, and has volunteered in the Insect Zoo as well. Her many interests include an advanced yoga practice, baking, gardening, hiking, biking, playing mahjong and traveling abroad. She recently came back from an exhilarating trip to Borneo and Brunei which included exploring the Mulu Bat Caves (see photo). Best experiences at the MBC — identifying unlabeled specimens and munching on yummy cinnamon toast.

maeganhilliard

Maegan Hilliard

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Neuroscience and Health Promotions and Disease Prevention

Spring 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Maegan is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention originally and originally from Virginia. She plans to pursue a career in researching neurological diseases. In her spare time, Maegan likes to play volleyball, hike, travel, and bake cupcakes.

shanilguanasekara

Shanil Guanasekara

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Shanil is a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. He enjoys reading, cinema, independent music and soccer. He hopes to pursue a career in research, both in the USA and back home in Sri Lanka.

2010

mollyschaeffer

Molly Schaeffer

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: International Relations and minor in Natural Sciences

Fall 2010: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Molly is a sophomore majoring in International Relations and minoring in Natural Sciences (pre-med). Molly hopes to one day be an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization and help third-world governments eradicate disease. Molly has always loved the ocean and so she is excited about curating marine invertebrates. She knows she and the critters will become fast friends. In her spare time, Molly enjoys listening to music and reading.

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Maricela Zurita

California State University, Bakersfield, CA

Major: Family Studies and minor in Sociology

Summer 2010: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Maricela is a sophomore at Cal State Bakersfield majoring in Family Studies and minoring in Sociology. She hopes to one day work helping those in need. She is looking forward to the summer season and camping at Mono Lake. She is always up for a challenge and loves doing new things, which is one of the reasons she is working at the MBC.

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Miles Beal-Ampah

University of Houston, Texas

Summer 2010: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Miles is a graduate of St. John Bosco High School and currently a sophomore at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He is studying Psychology, with hopes of becoming a criminal lawyer. Miles is also a High Jumper for the University of Houston Track and Field team, with a career best of 6ft. 10in. In his spare time he enjoys playing basketball, reading, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

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Tyvaey Lott

Palisades Charter High School, Pacific Palisades, CA

Summer 2010: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Tyvaey, or Ty, is a Senior at Palisades Charter High School. He enjoys playing football and practicing marshal arts. Ty loves science but has not yet decided his future career plans. After graduating from high school he intends to go to college.

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Janette Havens

University of California, Berkeley (B.Sc.)

Major: Conservation and Resource Studies

Spring 2010 – Summer 2010: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Janette graduated from Cal with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies. As an undergraduate she worked at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in the Ornithology and Herpetology Departments. She was also heavily involved in the biodiversity informatics project known as VertNET. She is currently working at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach as an Environmental Science Intern. Janette hopes to learn more about marine organisms while volunteering with the MBC and contribute to the curation of the extensive marine invertebrates collection. Her interests include hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and watching sports. GO BEARS!

2009

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Allison Chu

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Major: Piano Performance and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Summer 2009 – Fall 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Allison is a junior, double-majoring in Piano Performance and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She enjoys ice-skating, hiking, and swimming, as well as arts and crafts, concerts and Pixar movies. She's a foodie in many senses, from baking, cooking to eating, and has a mild obsession with the TV series, How I Met Your Mother. Her incentive for volunteering at NHM is mainly due to her biology teacher, Professor Wetzer, whose enthusiasm and passion for her work sparked Allison's interest in the field of marine biology. She's not exactly definite on what her future profession will be, but hopes that it'll be enjoyable and with lots of fun people.

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Chase Femrite

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Major: Biology and minor in Physics and Philosophy

Summer 2009 – Fall 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Chase is majoring in Biology and minoring in Physics and Philosophy. His goal is to pursue a career in some aspect of biological research — his interests ranging everywhere from neuroscience to marine organisms. He is excited for the opportunity to further his knowledge and experience in marine biodiversity. In Spring 2010 he is planning on undertaking a research semester at the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island.

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Jeanette Carpenter

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biochemistry

Spring 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jeanette is a freshman Biochemistry major. When she's not in class or at work, she is reading books by Jane Austen, watching “House,” eating oreo cream pie, or, if she's lucky, sleeping. She is excited to be working with all of the little critters in the lab and preserving them with untold amounts of alcohol.

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Ashley Avery

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Fall 2008 – Spring 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Fall 2008 – Spring 2009: NSF Decapoda student

Ashley is a second year Biological Sciences major, which has spurred her interest in the Natural History Museum. Ashley is overly fascinated with anything that has to do with science. She plans to gain experience related to biological research and wants to pursue a career in bio-medical research after graduating from USC.

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Cynthia Godfrey

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health and Humanity and minor in International Relations

Fall 2008 – Spring 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Cynthia is a Pre-Med undergraduate majoring in Health and Humanity and minoring in International Relations. She loves anything related to the ocean, including water sports such as jet skiing. She can outrace anyone! Working with the MBPC represents an amazing opportunity for her to explore biology “outside the book,” and she hopes that it will open the door to opportunities such as research and fieldwork across the world. After practicing as a Hematologist and Oncologist, Cynthia will retire to a tiny cottage on the shores of Fiji watching the sunset and singing her favorite tunes by The Strokes.

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Kristan Culbert

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Peace and Conflict Studies

Fall 2008 – Spring 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Kristan is a sophomore pursuing a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies as well as searching for a major course of study she will fall hopelessly in love with. She hopes to go on to either grad school or medical school and eventually work for a NGO. She enjoys speaking French to anyone who will listen, loves chemistry, reading, going for long hikes in the wilderness and on occasion pretending she is Julia Child. Kristan hopes to get really cozy with the specimens she is organizing and to explore the “dungeon” under the NHM.

2008

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Saw Hun

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Saw is a freshman majoring in Biology with pre-med emphasis and doubling in Political Science. She is debating whether or not to add a minor in Fine Arts. Saw is interested in anything scientific, and is excited to work in a place that is committed to scientific pursuits. When she’s not handling dead animals or has her face stuck in a book, she likes to draw, listen to music and figure out how to expand her artistic side.

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Christina Chen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

2007 – 2008: NSF Decapoda student

2007 – 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Originally from the Midwest — Troy, Michigan — Christina has immensely enjoyed the changes in weather, environment, and lifestyle that have come with studying at USC. She is a freshman majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is leaning towards pre-med or occupation therapy, for now. Natural history museums have always given her the chills because of the excitement of connecting with the past and seeing the myriads of organisms out there, so working with Crustacea has been an extremely beneficial experience. On her free time, she enjoys spending time with church members, playing guitar and piano, and eating yummy food.

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Celia Carter

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Communication and Cinema Production

Spring 2006 – 2008: NSF Decapoda student

2004 – Spring 2006: NSF Isopods student

Fall 2004 – 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Celia is a sophomore at the University of Southern California and is currently majoring in Communication. She would like to double major in Cinema Production and later direct music videos or mix movie soundtracks. Working at the museum has definitely given Celia insight to all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Researchers don’t just go out into the field, pick up dead animals and put them on display. There is so much more that is done that no one even knows about, but she’s slowly learning. She'd like to give a shout out to the echinoderms chillin’ on the shelves of the collection room.

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Natalie Bray

Lycée Français High School, Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Natalie will be a high school senior this Fall. She has worked at the Natural History Museum for the past four summers with the Adventures in Nature Summer Camp and is also volunteering for the MBPC. Natalie hopes to study marine biology in college and to work in museums around the world. She is broadly interested in coral reefs and creatures living in the abyss.

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Isaac Ahn

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Fall 2007 – Spring 2008: NSF Decapoda student

Fall 2007 – Spring 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center student

A Los Angeles native, Isaac is a sophomore majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies with a pre-pharmacy emphasis. He has been a frequent visitor to the museum and truly appreciates working behind the scenes. When he is not working on the Tree of Life project or studying, Isaac loves to play the violin and watch trashy reality shows.

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Anita Rai

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2006 – Spring 2008: NSF Decapoda student

Fall 2006 – Spring 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Anita is a junior majoring in biology and Spanish with a pre-med emphasis. While thinking about pursuing a career in medicine, Anita is also a swimmer and water polo player. She loves the beach, surfing, reading, listening to music and, of course, Trojan Football (fight on!). Originally a sophomore transfer from UC Berkeley, Anita is loving life at USC and is having a great time learning about research and science while working at the museum.

2007

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Paige Johnson

Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2007 – Fall 2007: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Paige is a senior philosophy major, but seeing as philosophers are in low demand, she is interested in pursuing a career in a Natural History Museum. She has broad interests, and enjoys arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, animals (both alive and preserved in jars), horror films, formal logic and traveling. She also enjoys novels and films that are set in natural history museums and make them seem unrealistically dangerous and exciting. Paige has studied in England and dreams of moving there someday and working at the London Natural History Museum.

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Janna Brancolini

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health and Humanity and Print Journalism

Spring 2007: NSF Decapoda student

Spring 2007: Marine Biodiversity Center student

I am a sophomore double majoring in Health and Humanity and Print Journalism at the University of Southern California. I hope to eventually become a science reporter, and I am especially interested in international health. I was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, and I was very excited to trade winter for the ocean when I came to L.A. for college. I am involved with Troy Camp, Habitat for Humanity, and the Daily Trojan student newspaper at USC. “Troy Camp” is an organization that works with kids in the USC neighborhood during the school year and takes them camping in the mountains in May. Little known fact: I love roofing houses, and I will be training to become a Crew Leader with the LA Habitat for Humanity chapter this summer. I've also become a beast with the PhotoShop lasso tool thanks to Dr. Martin's Hawaii crab pictures. My hobbies include martial arts, reading, writing, going to the beach, playing the violin, and photography.

2006

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Erin Ostrander

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Erin is a senior in biology who enjoys running, hiking, sailing, and tae kwon do. Erin is interested in marine biology, which is what led her to the Natural History Museum. Erin volunteers for the MBPC to learn more about crustaceans and work on a research project for her marine biology class. She has learned about the organisms from the islands of Palau (Micronesia) through her work on recently collected invertebrates. Erin assists with collection work, associating specimen labels with the organisms, and incorporating them into the research collections.

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David Luangpreseuth

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences and minor in Public Policy and Development

Fall 2006: NSF Decapoda student

Fall 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

David is a Sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Public, Policy, and Development. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, surfing, swimming, and relaxing on the beach. He has mastered preparing SEM images for publication and is scanning rare books for the Decapod Tree of Life Project. However, after graduating from USC, David plans on attending medical school so that he can become a surgeon. Also, he might be terrified of plastic hands in the Crustacea lab.

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Michael Pecson

California State University, Long Beach, CA

Summer 2006 – Fall 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Michael, aka Pecson, is a self-taught biologist. He has logged countless hours watching the Discovery Channel with an emphasis on Animal Planet. As far as he can remember, he has always done well in his science classes and is a self-proclaimed cornucopia of knowledge and obscure facts. Michael hopes to one day become a full-time employee at the NHM.

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Elizabeth Liu

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Summer 2006: NSF Decapoda student

Summer 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Elizabeth is a junior majoring in Biology. She enjoys playing tennis, cooking, watching funny movies and going to the beach. Having the opportunity to work in the museum has definitely opened her eyes to the different possibilities out there for those interested in Biology. This experience has definitely intensified her love for biology and made her appreciate all the work that scientists must do. She intends to continue volunteer work in the Crustacea lab and publish her work on dendrobranchiate gills.

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Laura A. Ponce

University of Hawaii, Hilo, HI

Summer 2006: NSF Decapoda research student

Summer 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Laura is a senior at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, majoring in biology. As an REU intern during the summer of 2006, she enjoyed learning about isopod morphology, taking a multitude of SEM images, and finding strange parasitic isopods in her barnacles. She hopes to continue to pursue her interests in biological research by going on to graduate school, hopefully somewhere near the very awesome Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Laura also enjoys spending time at the beach, relaxing with a good book, watching movies with her friends, discovering new music to rock out to, and finding interesting new places to see.

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Jennifer Zieba

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology Biology and Cinema Television

Summer 2006: NSF Decapoda student

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006: NSF Isopods student

Fall 2005 – Summer 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jen is a Sophomore majoring in biology and minoring in cinema television. She enjoys SCUBA diving, rock climbing, sailing, camping, reading, and various amounts of nerdy things (i.e., Star Trek and Steve McQueen). Working at the museum has let Jen do some real hands-on work with the specimens she has been studying for so long in school. Jen’s favorite specimen is the little alien baby living in the Crustacea collection room.

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Elisabeth Wetzer

Bundesrealgymnasium Wien 14, Vienna, Austria

Major: Mathematics

Summer 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2003: NSF Isopods volunteer

Summer 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2004: NSF Isopods volunteer

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2005: NSF Isopods volunteer

Summer 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2006: NSF Isopods volunteer

Elisabeth has a particularly strong interest in studying the natural sciences. Her interests there have led her to volunteer at the Museum to gain direct experience in science, discovering how biologists work by working with them. While working in the MBPC, Elisabeth has had the chance to learn that doing science, like many other endeavors, is 20% technical and 80% personal; people have far more to do with the working environment than the specifics of the work itself. Besides coffee races and lunches, Elisabeth spent most of her time sorting specimens from the Oregon State University Andrew Carey collection. She hopes to return soon.

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Jean Christophe Le

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Spring 2006: NSF Isopods research student

Spring 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Chris is a junior majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Ever since he saw Jurassic Park as a kid, he was fascinated by the inner workings of a lab. Having a chance to get hands-on experience with invertebrates is broadening his biology experience. Chris is passionate about acting and modeling. He also practices and instructs martial arts. He is a black belt 3rd degree in Tae Kwon Do and recently began learning a new form of Chinese martial arts called Wushu Kung Fu.

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Christian Perrodin

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology and minor in Biotechnology Science

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006: NSF Isopods student

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Besides being a die-hard Trojan fan, Christian is a Junior, currently a biology major with a minor in biotech science. Christian is also a pre-med student with hopes of entering a medical school by the Fall of 2008. He enjoys surfing in the summer, snowboarding in the winter, and being in the outdoors whenever at all possible. On the weekends Christian enjoys riding BMX and spending time with his family, but only after tons of homework and studying is completed. Being a part of the museum staff has opened an entirely new realm of interests. “Finally I get to apply the knowledge learned in previous biology classes.” Upon first being introduced to the museum he was absolutely floored by the incredible collection of marine organisms. Christian plans to become a pediatrician and have his own practice.

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Jessica Wedemeyer

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Theatre and Broadcast Journalism

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jessica is a Freshman studying theater and broadcast journalism. Ever since she was a child, Jessica has loved museums. She's very excited to be working behind the scenes now, making her small mark on information that'll be around for decades to come. Besides playing with animals that have been dead, some for 30 years or more, Jessica enjoys music, movies and searching for new hand creams to moisturize her alcohol dried out hands.

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Jocelyn Vivar

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006: NSF Isopods student

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jocelyn is a Sophomore majoring in health promotions and disease prevention with an emphasis in substance abuse. Jocelyn is a well rounded pre-med student with an interest in working in Marine Biology. She is a very involved and dedicated student who is currently in six clubs and in a leadership position for the Trojan Chemistry Club. In those rare occasions when she has free time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, her cat Kiwi and volunteering with Padres Contra el Cancer (Parents Against Cancer).

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Lai Shan Mui

Fall 2004 – Spring 2006: NSF Isopods intern

Fall 2004 – Spring 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Scientific illustration.

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Jennifer McCard

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Sciences

Spring 2006: NSF Decapoda student

Fall 2003 – Spring 2005: NSF Isopods student

Fall 2003 – Spring 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jennifer first visited the Natural History Museum on a fieldtrip for her freshman biology class. A few weeks later, she began working in the Research and Collections Department with Regina Wetzer and her isopods. She is currently helping in the molecular lab extracting, amplifying, and sequencing isopod DNA. Jennifer is planning to major in Environmental Studies, and she is glad to be gaining experience in the current scientific arena.

2005

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Lara Leitner

Milken Community High School, Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Lara is a Senior. She enjoys gymnastics and dance and is fascinated by animal behavior. Lara volunteers for the MBPC to get hands on experience with preserved invertebrates. She hopes to become a zoologist in the near future.

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Chase LaFrance

Chadwick School, Palos Verdes, CA

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Chase is currently classifying and preserving polychaetes. He is interested in computers, chemistry, and genetics. Chase thinks that it is only a matter of time before places like “Jurassic Park” become a reality and extinct creatures’ DNA can be used to bring them back. Chase has no definite ideas what his major will be beyond high school, but it is apparent that it will somehow be science related.

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Erika Ciriano

Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Erika is a Junior. She started volunteering in the MBPC because she heard it was a great experience, and she needed the service hours for school. It's a great help for science class!

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Rachel Stern

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Summer 2005: NSF Isopods intern

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Rachel is doing an internship in the lab summer 2005. She's having a smorgasbord of learning experiences from specimen sorting, extracting, amplifying, sequencing isopod DNA, to editing sequences. Rachel is hoping to get a SCUBA certification soon and pursue her interests in marine biology.

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Jonathan Brown

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2004 – Spring 2005: NSF Isopods student

Fall 2004 – Spring 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Jon has always enjoyed learning about biology and is excited to finally get some real experience in this field. Born and raised in Ohio, Jon somehow finds his way to the beach every weekend. He is often overheard muttering about how Californians don’t realize how lucky they are. He is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California, majoring in Biology. Jon is also learning to surf and is taking salsa-dancing classes at USC in an effort to 'woo' the ladies. He wants to someday become a research scientist in the field of genetics.

2004

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Sara Moore

Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA

Summer 2004 – Fall 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sara is currently in her third year at Santa Monica College. She is a biology major with a strong interest in ecology and environmental science. She started volunteering in the MBPC because she wanted to experience biology firsthand and familiarize herself with some of the practical aspects of doing biology.

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Emi Yoshimura

Stanford University, Stanford, CA (B.S. and M.S.)

Major: Biology

Spring 2004 – Fall 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Emi has been working at the Museum for a little over a year in the Education Department. First she worked as a Gallery Interpreter, and presently her position is Outreach Instructor. In her spare time she volunteers for the MBPC as a way to familiarize herself with the Museum's vast and diverse research collections. Emi is sorting the Great Barrier Reef Expedition 2003 material.

2003

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Steve Melendrez

Fall 2003: NSF Isopods intern

Fall 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Scientific illustration.

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Paola Karen Morales

San Francisco Zan Morano, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Fall 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Karen is a visiting student from Guatemala. She is spending her winter school break volunteering at the Museum to familiarize herself with the technical aspects of biology and to improve her English language skills. When not assisting with the curation of the Allan Hancock Foundation Sponge Collection, Karen was busy attending English classes. She plans to continue her education in the field of Bio-Medicine.

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Aaron Sunshine

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Summer 2003: NSF Isopods intern

Summer 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Digitization of isopod technical literature.

2002

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James Grama

Granada Hills High School, Northridge, CA

Summer 2002: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

James is interested in learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He is expanding his horizon this summer by helping with day to day activities in the Marine Biodiversity Center, while taking this opportunity to explore the backrooms of the museum and learn how the research endeavor is accomplished in the natural sciences and specifically in natural history museums. His goals include becoming a professional in a field related to history or science and to stay a life long learner. He will be a junior this Fall. His enthusiasm is contagious. His energy is boundless.

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Lindsay Keating

Westridge School for Girls, Pasadena, CA

Summer 2002: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Lindsay has been visiting the Museum with her father for years. Her strong interests in science and hands-on learning extend well beyond the classroom to our laboratory. She is donating her time and energy to help with a variety of curation tasks — some great fun — others just need doing. She is interested in exploring the many different subdisciplines of science as she begins evaluating possible career choices. As a freshman this Fall, she is looking forward to excelling academically, while preparing to go on to college and graduate school. Lindsay’s thoughtful and reflective nature are a prescription for success whatever her choices.