Grad student fellows and undergrad assistants
Peter Cowan

Peter Cowan
Graduate Student, Department of Integrative Biology

"Wildfires can be destructive, not only to people and buildings, but also to the plants that fuel them. However, fire is also extremely important for the persistence of some plant communities in California. I have been studying shrubs in California and Australia that depend on wildfires for their seeds to grow. I am comparing these species to others which are less dependent on wildfires. These studies will be useful in helping protect rare plants that need fire and for predicting wildfire patterns. I've really enjoyed teaching about plants and ecology and I'm privileged to participate in the GK-12 program this year. I look forward to sharing things that excite me about science and nature. When not in the lab I can usually be found backpacking, going for a bike ride, or sipping a cup of coffee."

Jon Fong

Jon Fong
Graduate Student, Dept of Integrative Biology (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology)

"My research interests include evolutionary biology, conservation, and systematics (how animals are related). My current research involves using molecular methods to aid in the conservation of Asian turtles. By sequencing their DNA, we are able to determine how the turtles are related, as well as uncover hidden diversity. Although some individuals may look very similar, their DNA may tell us that they are very different, and potentially new species. When I'm not busy in the lab, I'm usually off running around in Asia looking for wild turtles. Being a Bay Area native, I am very honored to be involved in the GK-12 program, and to have the opportunity to share my knowledge of California natural history. I hope to get students excited about field-based biology, and show them that science isn't all about test tubes and lab coats."

Jennifer Hernandez

Jennifer Hernandez
Graduate student, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management

"My research focuses on native bee species in California. I am interested in the conservation of native bee diversity and how the conservation of bees can contribute to the restoration of riparian habitats. My study sites are located throughout the Central Valley. I document native bee and plant associations while also evaluating bee nesting habitats in order to determine which factors affect native bee diversity. I hope to use this information to make recommendations for habitat restoration. I am excited by the opportunity to participate in the GK-12 program. It is an excellent opportunity to get kids excited about science while introducing them to the amazing insect life that exists all around them in California."

Matthew Medeiros

Matthew Medeiros
Graduate Student, Dept of Integrative Biology

"I study flightless moths that live in Hawaii. Some of them live in caves and some on the tops of the highest volcanoes on the Islands. My research attempts to discover if each island has its own unique type of flightless moth, or if a single species traveled to and colonized many islands on its own. In the process, I have found several new moth species never seen before. I enjoy studying these moths because I get to explore exciting places in Hawaii like towering volcanoes, pitch black caves, rocky lava flows, and rainforests. I also find it just amazing that some moths have become flightless. In my spare time I love reading, solving crossword puzzles, and rooting for the Oakland As and University of California Golden Bears. In the GK-12 program, I am excited to introduce students to the extremely diverse, important, and unusual world of insects."

Veronica Morris

Veronica Morris
Graduate student, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management

"With global change a certainty, good conservation planning requires studies of rates of adaptation to new environments. My research focuses on lupines, small flowering plants native to California. I will use genetic (DNA) and phenotypic (outward appearance) analysis to study population structure and local adaptation of Lupinus nanus in environments altered by human influences. I am assisted in my work by my service dog, Sabrina. We are excited to be a part of the GK-12 program this coming year and hope to learn as much from the students as they learn from us! When I'm not working, I also enjoy hiking and cooking."

Liz Perotti

Liz Perotti
Graduate Student, Dept of Integrative Biology

"Coastlines in the Bay Area and around the world are becoming increasingly altered and degraded to meet the demands of growing populations and industry. Diverse communities of marine organisms live on the rocks that are often destroyed and replaced by foreign materials. My research determines how geology and different types of natural and man-made rocky substrates people use to alter the coastlines affect the diversity and ecology of organisms living in these habitats. I love working in the Bay Area and look forward to helping students explore and learn about local geology, diversity, ecology, and history of the Bay Area."

Michal Shuldman

Michal Shuldman
Graduate Student, Dept of Integrative Biology

"I am an ecologist interested in plants and soil. My research focuses on plants found only in California, especially woody shrubs. In the relatively near future, California may have new combinations of climate that do not exist in the present or combinations of climate that exist today may be absent in the future. My projects will warm the soil, simulate heat waves, and alter rain patterns in order to see which plants can tolerate 'new' climates, and which cannot. I will use this information to predict how ranges of some California shrubs may shift in the future. I really enjoy teaching and I am excited to be part of the GK-12 program because it was my experiences in elementary and middle school that sparked my interest in science. California is a biodiversity hotspot of the world and it will be fun to share with students all the amazing diversity that surrounds us. When not working on my research I can be found hiking, camping, making dinner with friends, or reading."

Guin Wogan

Guin Wogan
Graduate Student, Dept of Integrative Biology (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology)

"I am an evolutionary biologist that uses molecular/genetic data to understand evolutionary processes. I have been fascinated by frogs since I was a kid, and am now studying tropical Asian amphibians. By using a combination of field experimentation, molecular techniques, and behavioral observation and documentation, I am hoping to shed light on how phenotypic and genotypic variation is generated and maintained in populations living in variable environments. I am excited to help the Adam's students engage in the excitement of scientific discovery and develop an appreciation for the amazing diversity around them."

 

Previous Years

Student profiles for 2006–2007 Graduate Fellows and Undergraduate Assistants
Student profiles for 2005–2006 Graduate Fellows and Undergraduate Assistants
Student profiles for 2004–2005 Graduate Fellows and Undergraduate Assistants
Student profiles for 2003–2004 Graduate Fellows and Undergraduate Assistants

 
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