Alex Zarem is a fifth-year student who recently switched his major to Marine Biology from Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. He will be working in the Shaffer lab on a number of exciting projects including: 1) using genomics to understand factors that can predict successful relocations for the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii); 2) understanding how variable landscapes contribute to genetic structure in alligator lizards (Elgaria spp.) and, 3) assisting with herpetofauna surveys at UCLA’s Stunt Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. More broadly, Alex’s research interests are in population dynamics of mild climate species in the Western US, with an emphasis in conservation of genetic diversity. Alex plans to extend his research into graduate school after graduating from UCLA.