Dr. Demian Willette
Sofia joined the lab in 2015, is a senior in Biochemistry, and is currently using DNA barcoding methods to test the labeling accuracy of seafood certification schemes. Sofia is a co-author on ‘Using DNA barcoding to track seafood mislabeling in Los Angeles restaurants’ and is currently working on a second seafood DNA barcoding paper. Sophia is also part of the Heller Lab at LMU and plans to attend Medical School.
Nick joined the lab in 2015, is a senior in Environmental Science, and is testing if brush piles made of invasive plant species can enhance native biodiversity. This fieldwork is conducted at Ascot Hills Park in northeast Los Angeles. Nick is a co-author on ‘Using DNA barcoding to track seafood mislabeling in Los Angeles restaurants’, and with Sofia, has received multiple conference accolades for this work. Nick plans to pursue his Ph.D. after graduating from LMU.
Kelcie is a doctoral candidate at UCLA and has worked with the Willette Lab since 2015. Kelcie’s dissertation examines multiple ecological and evolutionary questions about the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea both in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. Kelcie has received multiple awards and grants for her research, and has several manuscripts in review and in the works.
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.