Melissa Gray ’09 PhD (Wayne) recently published a study in the journal Science showing that small dogs are related to the gray wolf by a single gene, and that small domesticated dogs diverged from gray wolves in the Middle East about 12,000 years ago. Melissa is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Michelle Mayer ’09 writes: “Since receiving my biology degree, I have
enrolled and begun classes in a teacher credentialing/Master’s of Education
program near my home. I intend on teaching high school biology and chemistry.”
Jennifer Carlson ’06 writes, “I was a Plant Biology major with a minor in geography/Environmental Studies. Since graduating in 2006 I have been working for the National Park Service at the Santa Monica National Recreation Area as a Biological Technician. I have been working full time for Dr. Marti Witter, a Fire Ecologist, doing basically vegetative monitoring of many sorts. I have gained a lot of field experience in this position. I have also been working to build bird-associated experience, as a volunteer bird-bander at Zuma Canyon twice a month and as an assistant at the Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. Also I am one class away from having a GIS certificate from Ventura Community College. And also I have been honing my skills as a scuba diver, recently earning a Scientific Diving Certificate in anticipation of volunteering for Reef Check this coming year, as the main reason I like to scuba dive is to identify the creatures, just as I do on land. Most recently I have been busy with applying to graduate schools, the UCLA Department of Geography for one (my first choice, of course)! ”
Tara Jose ’04, at left, writes: “I graduated from UCLA in 2004, and am now in my 2nd year of veterinary medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. I plan on working with avian & exotics, and small animals after I graduate from Western.”
Maurice Pitesky ’96 has been named an adviser to the California Legislature through a program sponsored by the California Council on Science and Technology, which is teaming up with universities and several foundations to provide the services of PhD scientists and engineers to committees and lawmakers. Dr. Pitesky, previously a veterinarian with a focus on epidemiology and biostatistics, with a background in agricultural sustainability, food systems and the environment, will be serving with the Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee.
Ron Herzig ’92, at right, writes: “In January of 2010, I will be taking on a new role and
would like to find ways to work with UCLA in that position. I will become the Deputy
Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. STRI is a world renowned institute with a mission to understand biodiversity and disseminate the knowledge. There are over 400 staff in Panama making use of over 8 sites with access to marine stations on both coasts as well as many field biology stations. We host over 1,000 visiting scientists a year who make use of our facilities and gain access to the protected lands that we have the privilege to steward.”
Michael E. Loik ’92 PhD (Nobel), writes: “I was a PhD student with Park Nobel between 1986 and 1992, then was a postdoc on John Harte’s meadow warming project at RMBL [The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory] in 93-94.” Dr. Loik is an Associate Professor of Plant Ecophysiology & Climate Change Ecology in the Department of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. He is in residence for Winter and Spring 2014 at the Global Ecology Unit, Center for Ecological Research & Forestry Applications at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.
Niles Lehman ’90 PhD (Taylor) writes, “I obtained my Ph.D. from UCLA’s EEB division
of the Department of Biology in 1990. My graduate advisor was Chuck Taylor and I
worked with Bob Wayne on canid population genetics. Currently I am a Professor of Chemistry at Portland State University, where my research focus is on prebiotic chemistry and the role of recombination in the RNA world and in the origins of life.”
George Kramer ’89 PhD (Chapman), writes: ‘Post-docs in Pacific Grove, CA
(Hopkins Marine Station) and Italy (Stazione Zoologica di Napoli). Currently Professor of
Environmental Studies and Biology, Chair of Environmental Studies Program, and Associate Dean of Natural and Social Sciences at Purchase College (State University of New York).”
Brent Stewart ’89 PhD (Taylor) is a marine biologist and senior scientist for Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. A report on his 31 years studying elephant seals was published in the Los Angeles Times on March 5, 2010.