Jana Johnson PhD. ’08, a student of Dr. Henry Hespenheide, is on the faculty of Moorpark College, where she runs a rare butterfly rearing facility. Her work on the rearing and release of endangered species of butterflies has been widely reported in the popular press, on TV, and on the web. A description of her work appears on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife home page at www.fws.gov. Her research was recently featured in a front page article in the California section of the Los Angeles Times (16 March) describing her very successful captive breeding program at Moorpark College for the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis). Her program is especially notable for the involvement of volunteer undergraduate students in rearing the butterflies
Laura Jordan PhD ’08 completed her PhD with Dr. Malcolm Gordon. Her dissertation was on aspects of the anatomy and sensory physiology of both the lateral line and electroreceptor systems in three species of stingrays. She is now in the first year of a postdoctoral position that is joint between the Gordon lab and the lab of Prof. John Dabiri at Caltech.
Erin Marnocha PhD ’08 completed her degree with Dr. Tom Smith. Her thesis was entitled “Evolutionary change in human-altered habitats: morphological shifts, differential selection, and environmental drivers of phenotypic plasticity in the lizard Anolis sagrei.” She is now Project Manager for Once Upon a Watershed, a watershed education and restoration program based in Ojai, California.
Amy Rogers PhD ’08, a student of Tom Smith, filed a dissertation entitled “Regeneration pattern and process in tropical secondary forest: how recruitment dynamics limit succession.” She will be continuing her conservation work in Ecuador’s northwest Esmeraldas Province as a full-time Research Fellow for the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. Her work is directed at implementing an integrated conservation management plan in the Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve, one of three remaining expanses of the Choc coastal rain forest in Ecuador.
Alex Gilman PhD ’07 has published a paper in Science on the effects of global warming on tropical species. For more information, see http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/globa-warming-affects-warm-weather-68463.aspx.
John McCormack PhD ’07 has accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Lacey Knowles at the University of Michigan.
Jeremy Jacquot Marine Biology ’05 is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California studying watershed management and global biogeochemical cycling. He has made several contributions to Discover magazine this year, the latest of which appears in the November 2008 issue.
Borja Milá Valcarcel PhD ’05 is now working as a postdoctoral fellow at Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain.
A book by Maddalena Bearzi PhD ’03, coauthored with Craig B. Stanford, has recently been published by Harvard University Press, Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins. The publishers comment that the book “explains how and why apes and dolphins are so distantly related yet so cognitively alike and what this teaches us about another large-brained mammal: Homo sapiens.”
Eric Graham PhD ’99 of the UCLA Center for Embedded Networked Sensing and Dr. Phil Rundel are working with the Chilean Instituto de Ecologa y Biodiversidad (IEB) to implement new technologies in sensor networks for IEB programs. They attended an IEB workshop in Punta Arenas, Chile in June, and visited field sites on Navarino Island in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in southern Patagonia and on Chiloe Island in the austral forest region of Chile.