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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 exposure during low tide affects the feeding behavior of barnacles.
Picture of Jordan Abney Jordan Abney (2015-present), email:
Jordan is working with Dr. Eernisse and Dr. Vendetti to better understand the evolutionary relationships of an endemic land snail genus Helminthoglypta. Ecologically, his project focuses on the historic and current distribution of these snails, something that has not been looked at in the past 50 years. His project also focuses on the evolutionary relationship at a species level by using DNA sequencing. In addition to his research, Jordan also works as an intern at Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control where he works in preventing the spread of West Nile Virus and other vector-borne diseases
Picture of Shannon Chou

Shannon Chou (2017-present), email:
Shannon is interested in behavioral and community ecology, particularly interspecific interactions. She is still deterimining what she will work on for her SCERP research project.

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 Joseph Gamez Joseph Gamez (2015-present), email:
Joseph is an avid birder interested in traveling throughout Central and South America to study tropical species. He is working with faculty mentor Dr. Paul Stapp investigating the population spread, potential host species, and possible host song mimicry of the Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura), an exotic obligate brood parasite, in southern California. Joseph is a recipient of the 2016 Bloom-Hays Ecological Research Grant presented by the Sea and Sage Audubon Society with the objective to advance ecological research related to avian species and their natural communities
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 Sanderson (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 interested in marine biology and works at the Roundhouse Aquarium in Manhattan Beach. She is in the process of identifying a faculty mentor.

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.

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Webpage last updated 07/27/2017 by Bill Hoese