Dr. Bennett is the Chief of Science and Harry and Diana Hind Dean of Research and Collections. She was the Academy's first ever Associate Curator of Microbiology, helping broaden the Academy’s research scope to include a dedicated focus on viruses and bacteria. Her specialty lies in infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Dr. Chandler is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology. His research focuses on the microbial communities that are associated with animals and in particular the bacteria and viruses of insects. Dr. Chandler obtained his B.S. in Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his Ph.D. in Evolution and Ecology from the University of California, Davis.
At the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) I work as an interdepartmental research and scientific illustrator. In the Botany Department, I work as a Science Illustrator to create highly-detailed botanical plates of tropical plants that are completely new to science and immediately threatened by habitat destruction and climate change. In Ornithology and Mammalogy and under the Marine Mammal Stranding Network I conduct fieldwork to perform necropsies on stranded whales in the San Francisco Bay Area to uncover the cause of death and dive into the field of marine virology.
To understand and help sustain our biodiverse planet, my lab at the California Academy of Sciences engages in transdisciplinary scienceto seek solutions to challenges from conservation to emerging infectious disease to forest resilience in a changing climate. I work in close collaboration with several groups at the Academy including the MicroLife lab as well as Entomology, the Center for Comparative Genomics and Ornithology and Mammalogy.
Dr. Nur Faeza Abu Kassim is a medical entomologist that specializing in mosquito role of transmitting mosquito-borne diseases. Her work focuses on the biology, ecology, genetics and control of vector mosquitoes. The main research interest is on vector mosquitoes and its role/relation into epidemiology of disease transmission, mosquito-microbiome and novel mosquito control strategies such as sugar bait technology and odor mediated nectar-foraging for mosquito-borne diseases particularly from flavivirus group.
Claudia Rocha is a Lab and Collection Manager for the Microbiology Department. She also manages the Ichthyology Tissue Collection where researchers around the world can request genetic samples as loans to answer questions on evolution, ecology, biodiversity and even climate change. One of her research focuses is on coral reef fishes, primarily on discovering viruses in coral reef fishes at different ecosystems. Her last publications are descriptions of new species of fish.
My research interest lies in the ecology and evolution of mosquito-borne viruses and spans across scales of the disease transmission. At the community level, I explore how changes in mosquito community diversity, human behaviors, and vector density play a role in driving disease emergence and determining endemicity. At the microbial community level, I characterize the mosquito microbiomes and viromes in relation to the environmental changes to understand how humans may influence virus transmission by changing the natural microbial diversity.