Dr. Demian Willette
Demian is an instructor in the Biology Department at LMU and an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. Click here for Demian’s CV.
Sofia joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2015. Sofia’s current project is using genetic methods to test the validity of seafood certification schemes to accurately trace the origin of seafood products. Sofia and Nick were co-authors on the Sushi Fraud paper and have received awards at multiple conferences for their presentations. She is working to receive her B.S. in Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University. Sofia is also a part of the Heller organic chemistry lab and plans to attend medical school after graduating.
Nick joined the lab in 2015 and is a junior in the Environmental Studies Program and is interested in conservative ecology and biology. Nick and Sofia were co-authors on the Sushi Fraud paper and have received awards at multiple conferences for their presentations. Nick’s current research is using DNA barcoding methods to examine mislabeling rates in L.A.’s newest restaurant trend, poke bowls. In his free time Nick practices Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu jitsu and plans to attend graduate school.
Kelcie is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA and joined the lab in 2015. She is a member of the lab’s multi-university and agency team of scientists and managers working on the invasive Caribbean seagrass Halophila stipulacea. Her dissertation uses a combination of cutting-edge molecular genetic tools and in-situ manipulative experiments to describe the impact of the invasive seagrass on native Caribbean marine communities. Kelcie has her bachelor’s degree in Biology from xxx and her Masters in biology from California State University, Sacramento. Kelcie has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, is the recipient of multiple grants and scholarships, and is currently working on two forthcoming scientific publications.
Quinn joined the lab in 2016 and is currently studying abroad in Europe. He’ll resume his research on valuing ecosystem services in Fall 2017.
Candice is a junior in Biology at LMU and joined the lab in 2017. Like Kelcie, she is a member of the lab’s multi-university and agency team working on the invasive Caribbean seagrass Halophila stipulacea. Candice’s current research examines the nutritional value of the invasive seagrass for native green sea turtles, and has recently started a second project looking at the capacity for the California seagrass, Phyllospadix, to function as a ‘blue carbon’ sink. Candice is also a McNair Scholar and teaching assistant at LMU and enjoys scuba diving and dancing in her spare time. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. program in marine science after graduation.
PAST LAB MEMBERS
Our lab frequently works with top-notch scientists and experts from around the world. Below is a list of some of our collaborators!
Dr. Sascha Steiner
Sascha is the founder and director of ITME and TROPIC and has been a long-time collaborator and colleague of the lab on our invasive seagrass work, primarily in Dominica (West Indies).
Dr. Mudjie Santos
Mudjie is a Research Scientist II in the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (Philippines) and has partnered on multiple food security and fisheries management projects with the lab. He also was a teammate of Demian’s on local basketball leagues in the Philippines.
Dr. Peggy Fong
Peggy is a Professor at UCLA and partners with the lab on ecological studies on the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea in the Caribbean. She is also a cherished mentor of Demian’s.
Dr. Anna Toline
Anna is a marine scientist and Ocean Program Coordinator for the National Park Service Southeast region and partners with the lab on risk assessment and management strategies targeted at the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea within US National Parks, including the Virgin Islands National Park and the Coral Reef National Monument.
Dr. Gidon Winters
Gidon is a researcher at the Dead Sea & Arava Science Center (Israel) and partners with the lab in investigating the genetic basis for the rapid, global expansion of invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea.
Dr. Eli Meyer
Eli is an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University and partners with the lab in the use of cutting-edge molecular methods, and is the co-organizer of our summer workshops on Catalina Island.
Dr. Paul Barber
Paul is a Professor at UCLA and partners with the lab in using molecular genetic tools to help address challenges with Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud. He is also an esteemed mentor of Demian’s.
Dr. Elizabeth Sbrocco
Elizabeth is a research scholar with the Ronin Institute and partners with the lab in on-going ecological niche modeling of the invasive seagrass, Halophila stipulacea, in the Caribbean.
Dr. Anchana Prathep
Anchana is a Professor at Prince of Songkhla University in Thailand and has and continues to collaborate with Demian on multiple scientific education programs.
Dr. Samantha Cheng
Sam is a post-doctoral scholar with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara and partners with the lab on a range of fisheries management topics.
Mr. Duncan Leadbitter
Duncan is the director of Australia-based fisheries and natural resource consulting group Fish Matter, and a fellow at the University of Wollongong (Australia). Duncan has collaborated with the lab on marine fisheries research.
Dr. Ines Gonzalez Viana, Dr. Lucy Gillis, and Dr. Rapti Siriwardana-de Zoysa
Ines, Lucy and Rapti are current research collaborators investigating social, ecological, and biological questions related to the invasive seagrass across the Caribbean Sea.