Search for Academy curators, collections managers, and research staff working to answer some of the world's most pressing scientific questions.
For the past 30 years the major emphasis of my research has been the study of New World Acanthaceae (shrimp plants and their relatives). Although known in temperate regions primarily for showy ornamentals, the Acanthaceae are the 11th largest family of flowering plants (with more than 4,000 species) and a prominent element of many tropical regions. Mexico and Central America comprise a major center of diversity for this family.
I came to the Academy as a volunteer in 2016 in the Geology Department. Now, I split my time working as a Research Assistant for Geology and a Curatorial Assistant in Botany. Some of my duties include collections care, data cleaning, digitization, loan processing, volunteer management, and assisting visiting researchers. I have a B.S. from UC Davis in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology with a minor in Environmental Toxicology. Recently, I graduated from San Jose State University's Master of Library and Information Science program.
I am interested in ecology and evolution, and most of my work has focused on birds and more recently mammals. Our department of birds and mammals conducts research on local marine mammals, collaborates with US Fish and Wildlife for important surveys of public lands, and we do a variety of research ranging from studying why birds fly into windows in urban settings to how toxic birds acquire and use poisons for defense to using genetics to study relationships among species of animals (and more...) We currently have students in the lab ranging from high school, Masters students, PhD students
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.
I study the patterns and processes of evolution in scorpions and their fascinating venoms, spiders, and whip spiders. I am particularly interested in the interactions between biota, geology, and climate that have lead to the present-day assemblage of life on Earth. I feel that by understanding the history of life on Earth, we can make better informed decisions for enabling the present-day flora and fauna to continue to adapt and evolve.