SCERP logo
Skip to content

Southern California Ecosystems Research Program (SCERP)

Scholar Resources

Current SCERP Scholars, Research Interests and Other Information

Picture of Cherise Austin Cherise Austin (2016-present), email:
Cherise is interested in organisms in the rocky intertidal ecosystem and is working with faculty mentor Jennifer Burnaford. Her independent research project focuses on how body temperature during low tide exposure affects the photosynthetic potential of the rockweed, Silvetia compressa.
Picture of Shannon Chou

Shannon Chou (2017-present), email:
Shannon remains curious about a wide array of topics in biology and is especially interested in answering biological questions that require an interdisciplinary approach. Her preferred area of research lies in behavioural ecology (for any species and any ecosystem), particularly if interspecific interactions are involved. She is currently working with faculty mentors Dr. Jennifer L. Burnaford and Dr. Ryan P. Walter to investigate the differences between derived species richness and diversity levels in tide pools as interpreted from visual surveys versus environmental DNA analysis.

Picture of Brittany Cook Brittany Cook (2017-present), email:
Brittany is interested in agricultural issues and environmental sustainability. She works with faculty mentor Joshua Der and is interested in the investigating ways to use plant genetics and farming methods to make unprocessed foods more accessible to communities in need.
Picture of Alejandra Garcia

Alejandra Garcia (2016-present), email:
Alejandra works with faculty mentors Dr. Danielle Zacherl and Dr. Ryan Walter investigating the morphology and molecular genetics of native (Mytilus trossulus) and non-native (Mytilus galloprovincialis) mussel species in potential hybrid zones in southern California.

Picture of Kyle Gunther

Kyle Gunther (2016-present), email:
Kyle works with faculty mentors Joel Abraham and Joshua Der to study allelopathy in fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and host specialization of desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum), respectively, with the goal of contributing to the ecological insight of CA native plant assemblages. Kyle presented his fennel research at the 2016 SACNAS conference and was awarded best undergraduate poster in Life Sciences: Botany. Kyle also presented his researh at the XIII Symposio Binacional de Botánica in Ensenada, Mexico. He gave his first-ever talk on the desert mistletoe work at the CA Botanical Society’s 26th Graduate Student Symposium, and won best poster for this work at the 31st Desert Symposium at the Desert Studies Center in Zzyzx, CA. He has grown to love the desert so much that he is now a founding member of the Desert Studies Docent program. Graduate studies are next, and will involve anything plant and/or soils related.

Picture of Daniel Jaques

Daniel Jaques (2017-present), Daniel is passionate about habitat restoration and plants in general. He works with faculty mentor Joshua Der. Daniel is also on staff at the Tree of Life Nursery, which specializes in California native plants. He volunteered with Channel Islands Restoration on San Nicholas Island to further their conservation efforts. As a SCERP scholar he will be developing microsatellite genetic markers in multiple California endangered plants with implications for conservation efforts.

Picture of Jacob Javier

Jacob Javier (2017-present), email:
Jacob works with faculty mentor Misty Paig-Tran studying biomechanics. He is interested in marine biology and before he became a SCERP scholar he worked on comparative fish reproductive physiology with Dr. Forsgren.

Picture of Amber Sanderson

Amber Jolly (2017-present), email:
Amber is interested in rocky intertidal ecology and water quality and is working with faculty mentor Jennifer Burnaford. She is currently examining the influence of urban freshwater runoff in Southern California Marine Protected Areas on the distribution, abundance, and physiology of four rocky intertidal species (Tetraclita rubescens, Chondracanthus canaliculatusPterocladiella capillacea, and Ulva californica). 

Picture of Holly Suther

Holly Suther (2017-present), email:
Holly is working with faculty mentor Dr. Kristy Forsgren studying the reproductive morphology of rockfish. Her research hopes to describe the genital papilla of male rockfish in order to better understand their cryptic copulatory behaviors. She's interested in marine biology and works at the Roundhouse Aquarium in Manhattan Beach as an aquarist.

Picture of Caitlin Stapp Caitlin Stapp (2016-present), email:
Caitlin was motivated to study fish biomechanics after completing the SCERP marine summer research project. She is currently working with faculty mentor Dr. Misty Paig-Tran to investigate denticulation and functional anatomy of the reproductive organs in cartilaginous fishes (sharks and rays).
Picture of Sean Zulueta

Sean Zulueta (2016-present), email:
Sean Zulueta works with faculty mentor Kristy Forsgren investigating the reproductive biology of the Balck-belly dragonfish (Stomias atriventer), a deep-sea dragonfish. This research will contribute to our understanding of the development of gonads and provide insight into deep-sea fish reproduction.

Picture of SCERP logo
Return to SCERP homepage

Webpage last updated 02/21/2018 by Bill Hoese